In today’s economy, high unemployment rates and waning job security have created an onslaught of clinical research associates searching for work. For every one job opening, there are more than four times as many applicants as there were in the mid- 2000s. This means one thing – you have got to make yourself stand out, in person and on paper.
Many clinical research associates have recently complained that they feel their resumes and applications are being submitted into a black hole, as they never get a response from the company. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re not qualified (although it may), but what it does mean is that you failed to communicate your strengths and expertise to the resume reader. In order to be most effective, it’s important to remember some things about resume readers. Readers are overworked and overwhelmed by the sheer number of resumes they receive on a daily basis. They are rushed and have very little time to dedicate to reading a resume (most readers admit to give each resume between 20 and 30 seconds), and are looking for any reason to throw your resume out. Readers are smart, skeptical, and unimpressed by big words and fancy job titles, they are looking for content and accomplishments.
To make sure that your resume gets read, keep these tips in mind when crafting and submitting your resume and application:
- The two questions to always keep in mind when writing your resume are 1) what are the readers looking for first? and 2) what do you want them to find first.
- Make sure your resume is clean, organized, and visually appealing. As readers are looking for any excuse to throw it out, stylistic and formatting errors and inconstancies will send your resume straight to the trash bin. Consider saving your resume as a .pdf so that the formatting and fonts do not change when the reader opens the document.
- It is not longer necessary to include an “objective” on your resume; in fact, some resume readers are so opposed to objectives that they will use it as their excuse to throw your resume out. Objectives are a thing of the past because hiring managers are not interested in what you want out of your career, they’re only interested in what you bring to the table and how you will benefit their company.
- Tailor your resume to the position, not the industry. Every reader will have different priorities and will be searching for different keywords. Investigate the position and job description to find what qualities you possess that are in line with what they are looking for, and make those stand out.
- Consider using a “functional” resume format instead of the standard “chronological” format. If you’re applying for an IT position, list the positions you’ve held that have most directly impacted your knowledge and skill sets in the field first, and then detail the positions you’ve held that may not have as great an impact on the resume reader.
- Resume readers are not as impressed by the use of verbs as they used to be; the trend in today’s job market is numbers. Readers want to see quantitative data regarding experience and accomplishments, not simply that you’ve done it.
Finding a job in today’s market is tough, without a doubt. Chances are you’ve spent your entire adult life building an impressive skill set and arsenal of experience. Articulating these things on your resume in an appropriate manner is going to be the key to getting noticed and contacted for those positions you’ve been applying for.
Written by Katie Fidler
Investing in a Lifetime of Success,
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