Creating a Professional Resume to Help You Land the Job

Posted January 31, 2014

Getting a job in the light industrial sector will ultimately come down to skills and experience.  But even the most seasoned job seeker will want to know how best to leverage an impressive employment history by creating a professional resume. Whether you’re looking for work in manufacturing, distribution, or logistics, putting together a clean and powerful resume along with an engaging cover letter will set you apart in today’s highly-competitive industrial job market. Spend a little extra time crafting your application package according to the following tips and you’ll have a much better chance landing that first job interview and, eventually, the job itself:

Embrace the Process
When we say resume, what we really mean is your application package, which includes not just your resume but a cover letter and, where appropriate, a list of employment references. Assembling these materials can be a big undertaking, especially if you have to put them together from scratch. But embrace the process. As you revisit your employment history and particularly as you add references to your resume, reach out to old managers and/or co-workers and let them know they may be receiving a call from a prospective employer on your behalf. Not only will this give them the heads-up they deserve, but it’ll put them on notice that you’re job hunting. Knowing this, they may alert you to openings you’re not aware of or that come up over time.

The Professional Resume
A good resume conveys a ton of information in a short amount of space. This level of compression means you need to be very deliberate about what you include (and exclude) in your resume, how you represent items, and where you put them. For the most part, you’ll want to think categorically: job name, job type, location, time period, etc. More detailed information, including your job duties and any special projects you were responsible for, should appear in the form of bullet points rather than full sentences. What resumes lack in grammatical correctness they more than make up for in terms of clarity and power. When deciding what to feature first– your skills, experience, or education–think about what will make the greatest impact on an employer and place it at the top where it will be read first.

Write a Compelling Cover Letter
We’re always surprised to hear how many job seekers submit their resumes to employers without including a cover letter.  While writing may not be your strong-suit, bear in mind that employers reading your cover letter won’t judge you on literary talent: rather, they’re looking to hear your genuine and personal voice, along with why you feel you’re a good fit for the position.  Composing a cover letter is also a great opportunity to tell an employer about skills and experience you have outside the job’s requirements that could enrich your candidacy.

Get Feedback from Your Network
Circulating drafts of your resume and cover letter to coworkers, friends, and members of your social and professional network is an excellent way of testing how effective your application package is while at the same time putting yet more people on notice that you’re actively job hunting.  With their feedback, you can tweak your resume and cover letter.  And with their ears and eyes open, you may hear about a job opportunity you might otherwise have missed out on.

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