Successful job search begins with good, well-written resume

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We all know someone who can find a job just as fast as they lose one. Having a mind-blowing resume was probably one of the variables that helped them land that dream job.

This marketing document "sells" you to a hiring manager. The skills, tasks and special projects done in past jobs are what showcase your unique strengths.

The people who have the hardest time finding a job are often the ones who write a generic resume. It's better to analyze job postings and compose your resume addressing specific requirements.

Don't just shoot the same resume to every employer, but tailor each one to meet different positions instead.

Resumes should be short and sweet, as too much information can be a deal breaker. If you have worked with a lot of staffing agencies, you can get around this by listing the agency as the employer and pick one job title that covers most of the temporary work. Then list the specific assignments, accomplishments and experience gained.

Make sure to mention correct employment dates and job titles. Employers often use background checks to validate information. If the data in your resume is fake, your chances of employment are zero.

If you have gaps in your work history, tell potential employers what you were doing as gracefully as possible during that gap. If you don't have work history, that's fine too. Create resumes from life experience and translate those into marketable skills (abilities that are in great demand).

Creating a "Skills" section on your resume is a great way to incorporate relevant keywords in a natural way. Keywords that hiring managers and recruiters will search for are generally skills, location and work experience.

When including skills, think hard skills vs. soft skills. Hard skills are concrete, such as "Spanish fluency," "financial analysis," and "management."

Soft skills are important to the employer too, but they are better proved in person than on your resume. Soft skills include "hard working," "team player," and "positive attitude."

Customizing the keywords for your resume based on the job posting is very important. Read the job posting carefully and notice which keywords are relevant to the position and how often they repeat.

In addition to professional experience, make sure to include your education. High school achievements can be omitted if you have college credentials. Do mention your college work, even if you haven't graduated or plan to get your degree. Additional certifications and professional licenses also should be mentioned.

For assistance in crafting your best resume, visit the website for Career Navigators at Palmetto Goodwill, palmettogoodwill.org/employment-services.

While the road to a new job may feel laborious at times, stay active and remain hopeful. The right job, boss and company is out there. Good luck!

Matthew Spath is the marketing manager for Palmetto Goodwill, serving Bluffton and on Hilton Head Island.

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