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Snazzy resumes, videos can help in job search

POSTED: February 6, 2011 1:30 a.m.

It is not easy finding a job in this economy, but with a little creativity, job-seekers can find their resume at the top of employers' lists.

A generation ago, most applicants would have an interview to impress employers face-to-face. But technology has changed the game. Now, hiring managers have to distinguish candidates by what they see on the e-mail attachment.

Though it's hard to show all you've got to offer in a resume, there are ways to make it stand out by giving it an eye-catching design and including elements that show you are experienced, determined and relevant.

"The best technique for building a resume is to focus on selecting a job posting or announcement of interest and then build it according to the wording and requirements of that job posting," said Anita Radosevich, president of Career Ladders, Inc. "I recommend that each client use a highlighter to build a list of words to integrate throughout their resume."

Radosevich is a certified federal resume writer and coach, federal job search trainer, employment interview specialist and career transition coach. She also is the publisher and veteran expert for Jim Cassio, author of "Green Careers Resource Guide."

"I always inform the client to understand that the resume is usually pulled from a database setup by the employer's computer system," she said. "The computer system searches for applicants based on wording. By placing key words
throughout their resume, they have a better chance of being selected for an interview."

There are many "career coaches" available online. Radosevich's services include career assessment, follow-up correspondence and job search training, both on site or online through teleclasses, webinars and workshops.

"I begin with evaluating an individual's background to help them find a career goal," she said. "Once the client is able to feel good about their career goal, then the next step is to build the resume according to that career goal."

Radosevich's first step is formatting a client's resume. She includes an individual's profile, skills and talents, work history and education and training.

Taking advantage of online networking also can increase job seekers' chances.

"Technology is continually progressing and social networking, like Facebook and LinkedIn, is becoming more evident," Radosevich said.

Though finding a job seems grim, Radosevich doesn't believe in lost causes.

"Think positive. Your attitude is what will get you the job. Your body language and tone of voice needs to demonstrate confidence at all times," she said.

Using a job coach can cost anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars; however, there are discounted and even free services offered locally. Colleges, businesses and nonprofit organizations provide job fairs and career training exhibits.

"Many nonprofits help serve the needs of the people in the communities they serve," said Rashida Powell, public relations specialist of Goodwill of North Georgia. "Our mission is to put people to work."

Goodwill provides job training and placement assistance for applicants in need. There also are many locations where Georgians can donate business attire to help applicants dress for their interviews.

"In addition to the resources and training programs, our Oakwood career center also has a job club," Powell said. "Job seekers meet at the center to network with each other, share job leads and information and support and encourage one another."

Employers see many resumes every day, so it's important to make each one stand out. One way is with a video resume, short videos that describe the individual's skills and qualifications used to supplement a traditional resume.

About.com offers tips on how to create a video resume, including instructions for linking the video online and important do's and dont's. For instance, keep a video resume short, one to three minutes; look at the camera not at the desk or table below you; and don't speak too fast.

A few dont's include keeping your personal life separate by not linking your video to a Facebook profile and making sure there isn't too much noise in the background while filming.

"Tailor each resume you submit to the job you're applying for," Powell said. "Take words from the job description and use them in your resume to show that you've read the description and possess the skills they are looking for."

Another way to improve your resume is to make it visually appealing with an interesting format that will grab your employer's eye.

"Instead of bullet points, consider writing sentences to describe your skills and experience. Doing this shows off your written communication skills," she said.

Developing a collaborative website, blog or networking device, such as Twitter, can move your resume along much faster by showing employers that you're tech-savvy.

"It is important to have average to above-average computer skills. Everyone who doesn't have good computer skills should begin by taking a basic computer class in order to be successful with their job search."



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