Most people have something in their work history they don’t want a prospective employer to focus on. Do any of these sound familiar?
If you have the skills an employer needs and the acumen to present yourself professionally on your resume and cover letter, your chances of getting the interview significantly increase. And, once you are in the interview, your personality and presentation skills are going to be more important than what is on a piece of paper. (I was once in an interview where the guy through my resume to the side the minute I walked in the room and said, “Tell me things about yourself that I can’t read on this piece of paper! I need to know if I can work with you.”)
Below are a few tricks from a professional resume writer that address the above challenges:
EMPLOYMENT GAPS – Eliminate the months, only using years for time of employment. Fill a gap with volunteer experience, continuing education or consulting projects. If the gap is due to your own or another’s illness, address it in your cover letter with a positive tone of “ready to hit the ground running”.
JOB HOPPING – In today’s world, job hopping for better opportunities, increased responsibilities or learning new skills is expected and appropriate. Some say the days of longevity are gone. However, frequent job changes can give the impression of instability. Focus on your accomplishments and how you made a positive impact at each job and, if possible, show the career progression. Use your cover letter to explain your most recent move and how it enhanced your skills. If you can’t show progression, consider lumping similar positions together under one job title.
LAYOFFS/DOWNSIZING – RIFS (Reduction-In-Force) happen to the best of us. Put it behind you and update that resume immediately. Customize your resume for each job you are applying for and include accomplishments relevant to the job posting. In your cover letter and resume, consider including a quote from your reference letters that highlights your contributions to your previous employer(s).
Here are a few links with more information:
Let me know if these tips help in the comment section below!