Amanda Augustine is the resident career expert for TopResume, the largest resume-writing service in the world, and its sister brands, TopInterview and TopCV. As a Certified Professional Career Coach (CPCC) and a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), she has spent the past 15 years helping professionals improve their careers and find the right job sooner. During a time where job searching has become increasingly difficult and many career centers are limited in their capacity due to COVID-19, we wanted to bring in a resource to the Her Agenda INSIDER community to share top tips that can be used to level up resume writing and job searching.
Here are a few excerpts from the conversation.
Amanda on the top resume mistake:
Beyond typos, I think the number one mistake is using a generic resume. When it comes to your resume, customization is key.
On how to create a solid resume:
I recommend finding 3-5 job listings that describe the type of role you’re pursuing at this time and using them as a guide to create what I call your “foundation” or “base” resume. How are these listings describing tasks you’ve been responsible for or skills you possess? Use this information to reshape your resume and describe your experience and the value you bring to the table in terms potential employers will appreciate.
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Amanda on confidence when job searching:
If you aren’t confident in your skills and abilities, why should an employer or prospective employer? It may not come naturally to many of us, but if we want to earn what we DESERVE, we have to be willing to brag about our accomplishments.
On job searching during COVID-19:
The most effective job searches begin with a clear goal, so start there. In this economy, depending on your personal situation (finances, chosen industry/field, health, family responsibilities, location), you may need to pursue a short-term goal for now. For example, if you have your heart set on a job in the tourism or entertainment space, chances are you’ll need to shelf that pursuit for the time being and leverage your skills in a different area until that market recovers. I often tell professionals that they need to explore what’s available today and determine if their current job search is for a job right now (short-term) or for the right job (long-term). You can certainly pursue a short-term goal while taking steps toward realizing your long-term career goals.
Amanda on cover letters:
I would also say that the most recent TopResume survey found that recruiters are MORE likely to read your cover letter now than before the pandemic, so use that valuable touch point to make some of the connections between your previous experience and current pursuits that aren’t as easy to do so on the resume.
You are 10 TIMES more likely to land the job when your application is accompanied by a referral. it’s a great way to bypass the electronic gatekeeper (known as the applicant tracking system (or the devil) and the initial screening.