MDM Systems

Applying for a job? Here are the do’s and don’ts you need to remember

Crafting a Standout Resume and Cover Letter

In this competitive job market, having a good and well-written resume can boost your chances of getting hired. That is because your resume serves as your first impression on potential employers, often determining whether you make it to the next stage of the hiring process. 

Moreover, a well-crafted resume showcases your qualifications, skills, and experiences which help the hiring managers and recruiters to quickly assess your suitability for the position. 

And with hundreds of applications for a single job opening, a well-written resume can help you stand out from the crowd and increase your chances of getting noticed. 

Having a good resume is also a great marketing tool for your personal brand. It helps you to effectively communicate and differentiate yourself from other candidates. 

But crafting a well-written resume is not that easy. That is why here are some actionable tips and secrets on how to craft a resume that will make you stand out and increase your chances of getting the job. 

 

Best practices in creating a well-crafted resume

 

1. Tailor your resume based on the job you are applying

Don’t just create a generic resume and send it to every job posting you see on the internet. A well-crafted resume is customized based on each job position you are applying to. You need to know the skills and requirements that the job entails and tailor your resume based on that. Highlight all your relevant skills, experiences, and even keywords that match what the job requires.

 

2. Don’t skip! Create a strong summary or objective

Some applicants often skip writing a summary or objective on their resume. But beginning your resume with a concise summary or objective statement can help you stand out among the hundreds of applicants for the job. And the best way to create a summary or career objective is to highlight your key qualifications and career goals. This gives hiring managers and recruiters a quick view of your professional background and what you are aiming to achieve. 

 

3. Learn to quantify your achievements

Don’t just mention being part of a team for a project, or being able to contribute to the launch of a work. Learn to use numbers, percentages or even amounts to demonstrate your impact in your previous roles. For example, “Increased sales by 30% in Q4 by launching a new business strategy.” or “Managed a team of 10 employees and exceeded project goals by 25%”.  These kinds of numbers are eye candies to hiring managers and recruiters. It also makes your resume sophisticated and more professional. 

 

4. Learn to use action verbs

When listing all your accomplishments and responsibilities, use strong action verbs to add dynamism to your resume and make your achievements more impactful. For example, instead of saying “Responsible for managing 10 employees” you could use “Led a team of 10 employees.” Here are more action words that you can include in your resume –  Achieved Managed, Led, Developed, Implemented, Coordinated, Executed, Improved, Analyzed, Created, Increased, Resolved, Spearheaded, Negotiated, Mentored, Streamlined, Established, Trained, Innovated, and Collaborated, among others.

 

5. Highlight all your relevant skills

As mentioned in the first item, know the details of the job that you are applying to. Highlight all the relevant skills and experiences that match that job. Include both hard skills or the technical abilities and qualifications that you have as well as the soft skills such as communication, leadership, and teamwork, that align with the job requirements. 

 

6. Don’t forget to include keywords

It is important to read thoroughly the job details and requirements so you can incorporate the industry-specific keywords and phrases throughout your resume. Optimizing your resume with the relevant keywords can help your resume get past the applicant tracking system (ATS) which most recruiters and hiring managers use. 

 

7. Provide specific examples

Aside from quantifying your skills, achievements and experiences, it is also important to provide specific examples on your resume. This will help you support your claims for your skills and accomplishments. This will also give the hiring manager and recruiters a clearer understanding of how you’ve applied your abilities in real-world situations. 

 

8. Keep your resume concise and well-organized

It is tough to create a well-crafted resume, but the key is to be organized. Aim for a clean, easy-to-read format. Use headings and bullet points to organize your career details. It is also important to limit your resume to one or two pages. Focus more on the most relevant information and be consistent in your formatting style. 

 

9. Include relevant certifications and training

Don’t forget to include in your resume your certifications, licenses and relevant training programs. This demonstrates your commitment to professional development and can give you an edge over other candidates. 

 

10. Don’t forget to proofread and edit thoroughly

A well-crafted resume is error-free. That is why it is important to proofread and edit your resume for any grammar or spelling errors before submitting it. You can also ask a friend, a colleague, or a mentor to help you review your resume, as fresh eyes often catch mistakes or areas for improvement that you might have missed. 

 

These are some of the best secrets in writing a resume that helps you stand out. Following these tips can increase your chances of getting noticed by hiring managers and recruiters and securing an interview. 

 

Best practices in creating a well-crafted cover letter

Now you are done crafting your resume, but based on the job requirements, you also need to send a cover letter. 

Yes, a cover letter is additional work that you need to do when applying for jobs. It can be sometimes overwhelming, but it is essential in every job application. A cover letter is a valuable opportunity to personalize your application, showcase your enthusiasm for the role, and address any potential concerns or gaps in your resume. 

Thus, here are the best practices on how to get started in creating a cover letter.

 

1. Research the company

The first thing that you need to do is research the company and understand its values, mission, and culture. Use this information and demonstrate your genuine interest in the company. 

 

2. Address the hiring manager by name

If available, always address the cover letter to the hiring manager or recruiter’s name. This adds a personal touch to your cover letter and shows that you’ve taken the time to research the job. It also adds a human element to your application. 

 

3. Start strong with an engaging opening

To grab the attention of the hiring manager and recruiters, start with a strong opening. You can try sharing a compelling anecdote, relevant industry statistics, or a thought-provoking question that is related to the job or company. 

 

4. Highlight your relevant experience and achievements

Your cover letter is your window of opportunity to highlight your relevant experience and achievements that make you suitable for the job you are applying for. Use the body of the cover letter to highlight your most recent and relevant experience, skills, and achievements. 

 

5. Showcase how you fit for the role

Your cover letter is also your opportunity to showcase how you are the perfect candidate for the job. Thus, clearly articulate how your background uniquely qualifies you for the role. You can also draw connections between your skills and experiences and the key responsibilities outlined in the job descriptions. 

 

6. Provide specific examples

To make your cover letter more appealing, back up your skills, experiences and achievements with specific examples from your previous roles. Use numbers or quantifiable metrics whenever possible to demonstrate the impact you’ve made with your past positions. 

 

7. Demonstrate your enthusiasm and passion

Another thing to add to your cover letter is to express your enthusiasm for the opportunity and convey why you are excited to be part of the company. Let your passion for the industry and role shine through your cover letter. This can help you give more reasons why you are a perfect fit for the company. 

 

8. Tailor the tone and language

Make sure to adapt the tone and language of your cover letter to match the company’s culture and nature of the position. For example, if you are applying to a creative agency or company, you should use a more informal, witty, and creative tone. Whereas when applying for a corporate environment, you need to apply a more professional and serious approach.. 

 

9. Address potential concerns or gaps

If you have a gap in your resume, your cover letter is a great opportunity to explain that. You can briefly explain the situation and emphasize how you’ve overcome these challenges or developed relevant skills in other ways during those times.

 

10. Close with a call to action

The best way to end your cover letter is to provide a strong closing paragraph that reiterates your interest in the position and prompts the reader to take action. For example, politely request an interview or meeting to further discuss your qualifications and how you can contribute to the company’s success. 

 

Lastly, once you are done with your cover letter don’t forget to proofread it carefully for grammar spelling and punctuation errors. Even minor mistakes can affect your professionalism and attention to detail. Just like with your resume, you can ask someone to help you review it with a fresh eye. 

By crafting a well-written, tailored cover letter, you are increasing your chances of making a positive impression on hiring managers or recruiters and landing yourself an interview. 

If you like tips like this, make sure to subscribe to our website. You can also explore our job vacancies today, simply send us your well-crafted resume and brief cover letter highlighting your skills and qualifications at jobs@mdmsystems.net.au.

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