In a tough market, your resume needs to work harder than ever, says
TORONTO, Jan. 14 /CNW/ - Looking for a new job? Recruiters are still
hiring, and a little creativity and attention to detail will ensure your
resume goes to the top of the pile, says Canadian expert.
"A year ago, recruiters were more forgiving of 'bad' resumes," says
Maureen Carroll, Recruiting Manager at Head2Head, a specialized Canadian
recruiting company headquartered in Toronto. "Today, increased competition for
the best jobs means your resume needs to stand out in order to get priority
Carroll, 36, knows what makes a good resume: she sees more than 5,000 of
"Everyone knows that resumes are a crucial first contact with an
employer," says Carroll. "What they don't realize is that every extra minute
you spend on prepping your resume can shave days off your job search time."
Carroll offers 6 tips for ensuring your resume gets the best results in a
slower job market:
1. Make sure your resume is unique. Don't just copy a friend's resume or
the template you've been using since you graduated from university.
"Yes, your resume needs some structure," Carroll acknowledges, "but
taking the time to use unique adjectives and a fresh look will
2. Try to make it at least a little interesting. "There's nothing more
boring - or frustrating - than reading yet another introductory
statement like 'I want to use my skills and experience in a
progressive position in a dynamic organization,'" says Carroll. "It's
too generic - and I see a hundred virtually identical statements
every week. A more specific and honest statement is much more
3. One resume is not enough. It's worthwhile to create different
versions of your resumes, emphasizing different aspects of your
skills and experience. One might focus on your communication and
creativity; another might focus on your management experience. This
increases the chances that you'll look like a 'perfect fit' for the
position for which you apply.
4. Be specific about your achievements - and back them up with
statistics. "Companies are under more pressure to hire top
performers," says Carroll, "so they are looking for people with a
demonstrable track record. If you increased sales by 32% or reduced
costs by 12%, say so - and use hard numbers."
5. Use industry-standard terminology. Job titles like 'Specialist
Consultant' may have had meaning within the organization at which you
were working, but mean little or nothing to someone reading your
resume for the first time. "If you were really an 'HR Account
Manager', just say so - it makes it easier for the recruiter to
assess where you fit in compared with other applicants."
6. Proof read, proof read, proof read! "This is always important for
resumes, regardless of the economic climate," reminds Carroll, "but
in a tougher job market, there is less tolerance for mistakes - a
couple of typos can mean a quick trip to the recycling bin."
Overall, Carroll is positive about employment prospects for Canadians.
"There's no question that the job market isn't as hot as it was a year ago,"
she says, "but employers are still hiring at all levels, and smart, savvy
employees will always be in demand. Just make sure your resume demonstrates
how smart and savvy you really are."
Head2Head provides specialized recruiting services, including outsourced
and insourced recruiting solutions, to more than 250 of Canada's leading
organizations. Founded in Toronto in 2000, H2H has more than 35 employees, 120
consultants, and offices in Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary.
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