New year, new resume
Six resume tips to help you get hired.
Jan 01, 2009
At my practice, we recently started a dog-daycare program, and, as a result, I had one new staff position to fill. More than 100 resumes flooded my desk in response to the employment advertisement that I placed. Overwhelmed, I worried about whether I'd be able to sort out the best from the rest.
Remember that when it comes to your resume, your grammar, attention to detail, and ability to follow directions tell potential employers a lot about you—even how you might handle their clients. Make sure that golden piece of paper says you're the right candidate for the job by going through these six steps.
2. Study the classifieds. Take a close look at the employment advertisement before you write your resume. The advertisement I posted for the open dog-daycare position read, "No phone calls, please," but I heard from about 50 callers. Guess what? That was the first sign those applicants couldn't follow directions.
3. Keep it relevant. Identify the attributes and skills the employer is looking for and highlight your strengths as they relate to those qualifications. When you're applying at a veterinary practice, stating that you love animals and listing every pet you've raised since you were 2 years old is not a qualification. In fact, two of my best employees over the years have never owned pets. But they have exhibited excellent communication skills, and they maintain a high level of client service under pressure.
4. Be neat. Type your resume on professional paper. I actually received a resume that was handwritten on notebook paper torn from a spiral-bound book. You know what I'm talking about—all those little jagged edges. I didn't even need to read that resume to hear it screaming, "I'm sloppy and don't really care what you think of me." This applicant could have been my next dream employee, but she never had a chance to get an interview based on that poor first impression.
If you move or change your phone number, take the time to retype your resume. I received typed resumes where the applicants used a pencil to cross off outdated addresses and write in the new addresses. This tells me that if you make a mistake on a client's discharge form, you'll scribble in a correction and hand out the messy form rather than starting a new one. That's not the standard I want to show my clients.