Think you’ve just finished creating the perfect resume? Not so fast. It’s more effective to create a basic resume that can be tailored each time you apply for a position—in other words, not just one perfect resume, but more (and perhaps many more) than one perfect resume.
“If you’re applying for a lot of jobs and not getting any interviews, the problem could be the resume and the cover letter,” says Adam Bufka, director of career services for Purdue Global. “You’re not going to have much success unless you tailor it each time.”
Too often, people are tempted to cut and paste their resume and a previously written cover letter. Instead, Bufka advocates for taking a more measured approach, taking time to learn more about a company culture and values through reading and research.
Employing key search words from the job description can help in the resume, but a cover letter is where applicants can really set themselves apart, he says. Many Purdue Global students—like many Americans—have career gaps in their resumes or college degrees that they are still working on completing. In the cover letter, applicants can tell their story. “The more time you put into it, the better off you will be,” he says. “It makes all the difference.”
Maintain professionalism—do your research on the company prior to the interview and dress the part. It will be a competitive market no matter which industry you’re going into. During the interview, say something that will make you stand out as a candidate (in a good way). For instance, talk about your volunteer experience or your leadership role in a school organization. In the business world, most employers are looking for a skill set fit, but also a culture fit. Be sure to ask questions about the culture to show you’re ready to be a part of the team.”Ali McNichols, Director of Communications at Matchbook
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