5 Resume Tips That Job Seekers Should Know

Here are some tips to help you shine and overcome some resume obstacles—and prove to your future employer that you’re their ideal candidate.

November 7, 2020

Hand writing on paper

You may not have a lot of prior experience, or maybe there are gaps in your employment. Here are some tips to help you shine and overcome some resume obstacles—and prove to your future employer that you’re their ideal candidate.

Write Concisely

Regardless of your experience,  make sure your resume is easy to understand. Communicate well and make it readable, and don’t use wacky fonts or design styles. Be sure to use proper job titles. For example, using “Refuse Dispensing Engineer” or “Waste Management Professional” may make it confusing for the potential employer to understand. Be sure to format your resume correctly, align all of the columns and ensure it was written in an acceptable “resume style.” Clean and concise is best.

Use Proper Grammar

Any resume should be error-free. If you are not a great speller/writer, be sure to have another set of eyes proofread for spelling and grammatical errors. Even the best writers make mistakes. That’s why authors have editors.

Use Relevant Keywords

Be sure that you are including keywords that best fit your experience, beefing up your most recent positions. If you were a warehouse worker, be sure to add a sentence or two about some of the tasks that you performed. Employers will be looking for keywords that fit the jobs they have available and the more detailed your resume, the better your chances of landing an interview.

Focus on Skills 

What skills have you learned and gained from your past experiences that you can bring to a future employer? More important than titles, more important than the names of the companies where you worked in the past, are the skills you will bring with you.

Share Your Experiences

Some opportunities may not seem like a good fit at first, but be open to different levels of work. Be clear on what you can do, and what jobs you want going forward. This type of information can easily be added as your opening resume objective. Your experience in a different industry than the one you are applying for may apply nicely. Don’t be afraid to acknowledge that you may be new to the industry, but are confident in your ability to transfer your skills from previous experience.

Define Your Past Positions

Have you had a large reduction in responsibility? For example, were you previously a plant manager but in your most recent position, a retail sales clerk? Potential employers may wonder what happened. Just be prepared to explain why. Were you looking to try something new? Did you get laid off and needed to find something else rather quickly? Be upfront about topics that some employers may perceive as a concern.

Demonstrate Commitment

Employers want to see that you have stayed long enough at previous employers to add value, learn new skills, and build longevity and loyalty with the company. Too many job shifts in too short a time period may suggest that you won’t stick around for them either. Also: Are there gaps in your employment? Be prepared to have a conversation about this during an interview or simply note this in your resume. Employers want to hire those who are going to commit to their company.

You have unique talents and gifts that will be an asset to some lucky employer. Follow these tips, and let your resume rise above the rest. At PeopleReady, we understand the interview process can be intimidating, that’s why we take pride in helping our associates prepare for the next step in their career. 

How to Follow Up After an Interview

Read our guide on how to best follow up after an interview, including our free email template.

October 19, 2019
HOW TO FOLLOW UP AFTER AN INTERVIEW

At some point in your life, you’re going to have an interview. You might be meeting with a potential full-time employer or a recruiter helping set you up with flexible or gig work that matches your lifestyle. Either way, it’s important not only to make a great first impression, but also remain a positive in the interviewer’s mind even after you’ve left. For anyone waiting to hear back after an interview, it can be a nerve-wracking wait.

You can kill two birds with one stone: show manners and professionalism by thanking them for their time and also prompt for an update. Take the time to follow this email template from PeopleReady, but make sure to add your own voice and personality. They’ll want to hire you for who you are!

Email Template

Subject: A follow up on our [insert Position Title] interview

Hello [insert Hiring Manager or Interviewer’s Name],

Thank you for taking the time to meet with me for the [insert position title] position. I hope that I was able to answer all of your questions and that you feel like I could contribute well. I am excited about the potential opportunity to join [insert company name] and help [insert: serve new customers/build the project/create a welcoming space/anything helpful you will be doing in the role] with your team.

Please let me know if I may provide anything else as you move on to the next stages of the hiring process.

Thanks again and I hope to hear from you.

[Insert Your Name]

Keep in mind that the person you met with likely has a lot on their plate and you may not hear back immediately. If they haven’t responded after a week, it’s okay to follow up again: positive persistence can pay off.

Sometimes you will hear back after the interview and it won’t be what you wanted to hear. In this case, learn from the experience and politely ask if there was any particular reason they felt you weren’t a strong fit for the role or what they think you can improve on. It shows your dedication to personal and professional development while giving you an opportunity to learn how you might work toward the position in the future. Consider this a chance to improve and keep growing and keep trying.

Looking for work?

CONNECT WITH US

How to Use Temp Experience to Get Ahead

Today’s workers are in uncharted territory. See how the gig economy is shaking up the way we live and work.

May 30, 2019
Illustration of woman looking up holding a sheet of paper.

Today’s workers are in uncharted territory; technology is changing our world at a rapid pace, and the gig economy is shaking up the way we live and work. Long gone are the days when you assume the job you’re at today will be the same one you retire from in a few decades. Right now, workers like you are in the driver’s seat, and you can steer your career in a number of different directions.

This freedom to take a temp job here and a gig there allows you to work on your own terms and build the resume you want. As exciting as that is, some workers aren’t sure how to turn a work history filled with temporary gigs into a career that reflects their years of experience. If you’re having the same concerns, don’t worry.

Look back

Before deciding where you want to go, take stock of where you’ve been. Now is the perfect time to review any experience you’ve accumulated over the years. Ask yourself the following questions and actually write down the answers:

  • What skills have I gained from doing similar jobs over the years?
  • What range of skills have I gained from my variety of jobs?
  • Did I hold jobs at different levels (i.e., entry level vs. management)?
  • Were these jobs in the same industry?

Get honest with yourself

Now look beyond the job description. Each job teaches you something, even if it’s a lesson that can’t easily be listed on a resume. Ask yourself these questions to help you think about what kind of roles you want and where you want to take your career:

  • Which jobs were my favorite and why?
  • Which jobs did I dislike and why?
  • What was I good at?
  • What wasn’t I good at?
  • Where do I want to be in a few months, a year, and a few years?
  • What haven’t I tried that I want to?

Put your plan into action

Once you’ve assessed your work history and decided where you want to take your career, it’s time to get moving. One of the perks of working with a staffing company like PeopleReady is a wide variety of options to choose from and nationwide staff ready to help you.

Talk to your local branch manager about your career goals. If you want to test out different industries and try out new roles, let them know. They can help bring those opportunities to your attention and keep you in mind when they receive a work order that match your interests and skills. If you know what your long-term goal is, talk to them about it. They can explain what jobs you might want to search for in order to build the necessary experience or where it makes sense to get your foot in the door. It’s also important to keep your PeopleReady team up to date on any certifications you gain so they have the most current understanding of your qualifications. They can be your best champion, so stay in regular communication with them.

When you choose your next job, keep in mind what you want to get out of it. Sometimes you just want a paycheck and other times it’s to take one step closer to a career goal. Both are good reasons; just keep your long-term plan in mind so that overall, your gigs are working toward your goal. That’s the beauty of temporary staffing: you can build the career you want, how you want.

PeopleReady specializes in quick and reliable on-demand labor and highly skilled workers. PeopleReady supports a wide range of blue-collar industries, including construction, manufacturing and logistics, waste and recycling, and hospitality. Leveraging its game-changing JobStack platform and 600-plus branch offices across all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Canada, PeopleReady served approximately 98,000 businesses and put more than 490,000 people to work in 2020.