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Is Your Entry-Level Resume Competitive During a Recession?


2/14/2012 4:52:09 PM

Is Your Entry-Level Resume Competitive During a Recession? By Jessica Holbrook Hernandez, Expert Resume Writer

If you’re applying for a job at the entry level, you may be taking your first stab at writing a resume, which is always exciting. But the writing process gets even more exciting (and a bit more challenging) if you’re writing yours during a tough economic period.

Competition is usually a bit steeper when more workers are unemployed. This means, even at the entry level, you will need to become a bit more creative in the writing process by writing a resume that can compete in a recession. Here’s how you can get it done:

Show That You Understand Your Role

Many entry-level job seekers believe that their roles aren’t as important as others in a company, but nothing is further from the truth. Every position in a company is critical. A great way to stand out is to prove you understand this by writing a thorough job target/headline. Also, as you list your professional history, coursework, or other details about your background, be sure to choose information that directly relates to the job you’re applying for.

Choose the Right Keywords

Believe it or not, selecting the right keywords to incorporate in your resume can make or break your chances of being hired, largely because many companies utilize scanning software to identify words that prove a candidate is qualified.

For instance, if you are applying for a customer service position but make no mention of customer service in your resume, an employer may assume you’re not the right fit for the job. So take time to identify correct keywords to ensure you don’t get disqualified before human eyes see your resume.

Brand Yourself as a Field-Specific Professional

It may feel odd for a job seeker at the entry level to place a title on their skill set so early on, but it’s important for employers to see that you believe you’re right for the role by defining yourself. So take time to ensure you incorporate professional experience that closely relates to the job you’re applying for. Also, don’t forget to add professional profiles to your resume such as LinkedIn or Google Plus that also define you as a professional in the role.

Applying for jobs during a recession can be tough for entry-level seekers, as is the case for professionals at other stages on the corporate ladder. The best way to combat steep competition is to create a resume that is so strong employers can’t resist calling you in for an interview.

About the Author

Jessica Hernandez, is a resume authority for the Job Talk America radio program and multi-published expert author for resume, career, and job search publications. She boasts more than ten years in human resources management and hiring for Fortune 500 companies and utilizes her extensive experience to support job seekers in their quest to move onward and upward in their careers. Find out more at Great Resumes Fast.

Check out the latest Career Insider eNewsletter - February 16, 2012.

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