The job market has changed dramatically in the past couple of decades — and with it, the way we look for work. For cancer survivors who are re-entering the workforce, especially those who have not been employed for a while, it is important to note and understand these changes.
For one, online job applications have now become the norm, which has resulted in a larger pool of candidates for employers to consider. While in some cases the online process has made it easier for job-seekers to apply for positions, it has also made it increasingly difficult for them to stand out from the competition. So, what does this mean for applicants? First impressions matter — and your resume is often the first opportunity you have to make a strong first impression to a potential employer.
According to a recent article in Forbes, today’s competitive job market has generated a unique opportunity for candidates to create top-notch resumes that will help them get noticed. In their article titled “Recruiters Are Busy — Here’s How to Get Their Attention,” Forbes highlights the four things every resume should include:
Achievements — Don’t simply list out your job responsibilities/tasks. Make sure you also focus on your achievements, and use metrics whenever possible.
Tailored content — Recruiters are often looking for specific keywords in your resume. Make sure you’ve familiarized yourself with the job description and that your resume is geared toward the job you’re applying for and includes relevant keywords. (For help with this, download a copy of “Sample Keywords for Your Resume” from our collection of Charts & Checklists.)
Hard and soft skills — Both of these types of skills further the narrative of what kind of employee you are. Hard skills demonstrate to a potential employer the technical knowledge or training you have acquired, while soft skills convey the attributes and habits you have that may indicate whether you’d be a good fit for their company culture.
Personality — Think about the type of organization you’re targeting, the type of role you’re applying for. For example, if the company or position calls for creativity, be creative in your resume and cover letter.
To help you get started, check out our article on writing your best resume. If you are looking for specific guidance on your resume or want to make sure that the recent updates you’ve made to it really speak to the position you’re applying for, use Cancer and Careers’ free Resume Review Service. Simply upload your resume, and a professional career coach will provide personalized feedback, at no charge.
You can find additional tips on resume-writing and the entire job-hunting process in the Looking for Work section of our website and in our Job Search Toolkit, which can be ordered in print or downloaded for free by clicking here.
If you have questions about your job search, check out our Ask a Career Coach board, which gives you access to experts who can address your queries on how to manage work during and after treatment.
To read the full Forbes article, click here.