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Everything about a CV for a job application

What is a cv.

A CV, which stands for curriculum vitae, is a written summary of your work history, education , skills and achievements. Essential to any job application, the aim of a CV is to provide a meaningful summary of your career to date and show prospective employers that you have the necessary skills and competencies to perform well in a job.

As in most cases, your CV will be the first point of contact between you and a prospective employer, it’s crucial that your document makes a good impression. This means that your CV not only needs to clearly communicate your value but also be correct and free of grammatical and spelling mistakes to have a chance of getting through the first round.

Below you will find information and advice on how to create a CV to win over recruiters and increase your chances of landing your dream job.

What to include in a CV?

While every CV is unique and should ideally be tailored to the job description , there are certain guidelines that can be applied to all CVs. For example, every CV will generally contain work experience , education and skills sections, but may not need to include hobbies and interests or extracurricular activities sections, depending on your career history and the position you’re applying for.

The following is a summary of the sections that belong in a CV and those that are optional:

Personal details

The personal details section, which sits at the top of your CV, lets employers know who you are and how you can be contacted. Therefore, this section should not only include your name and current address , but also a phone number and an email address , where you can be contacted.

If you have your own website or a LinkedIn profile , it’s also a good idea to include this information, to provide employers with more information about you. If relevant to the job, you can refer to your driving licence or lack thereof.

For the most part, you won’t need to mention information such as your nationality , date of birth , gender , marital status or religious beliefs as anti-discrimination laws in many countries prohibit the selection of employees on these grounds.

CV objective or personal statement

Sitting at the top of your CV after your contact details, your CV objective or personal statement is a short introduction that provides busy recruiters with a quick overview of your work experience, skills and qualifications.

With recruiters spending only seconds scanning CVs, a compelling CV objective or personal statement can be an invaluable opportunity to make your application stand out and convince recruiters to keep reading the rest of your CV.

Work experience

The work experience section of your CV will form the core of your CV, as this is where recruiters and prospective employers can see whether you have the required experience for the job. This is also where you highlight relevant skills and accomplishments in each position you’ve held.

While it’s not necessary to list your entire career history, gaps in your CV could be a red flag to potential employers and therefore should be minimised or explained.

The education section of your CV provides employers with an overview of your training and qualifications. Depending on the stage of your career, this section may be given lesser or greater weight by recruiters and hiring managers.

For instance, experienced professionals will typically give greater emphasis to career history and place this section after the work experience section. On the other hand, if you’re a recent graduate or someone in the early stages of your career, it makes sense to highlight your education as evidence you have the required knowledge for the job and place this section earlier in your CV.

Core Competencies

Core competencies are skills and qualifications you can add to your CV to demonstrate your suitability for the position you’re applying for. While skills are specific abilities acquired through education, further training or work experience, core competencies are, broadly speaking, the skills, knowledge and personal traits that allow you to perform well in a job.

Core competencies are usually found in job descriptions and person specifications. As employers often use these to sort through candidates, including core competencies increases the likelihood of your CV being scanned by ATS .

One of the most important sections of your CV, this section provides an opportunity to highlight special knowledge and skills relevant to the position you are applying for, which are not mentioned under the education or work experience headings.

This can include language skills, IT skills or core competencies such as critical thinking, leadership and the ability to learn new things quickly. If you have volunteer work experience, you can also list skills that you have acquired in connection with this activity.

Language Skills

In today’s international environment, having language skills can bring professional opportunities and give you a distinct edge over similarly qualified candidates. The reason is that many businesses are now multinational and language skills enable you to work with people across borders and from different cultures.

Even in companies that don’t have an international base, the chances are, you’ll be working with and serving people whose native language is different to your own. By mentioning language skills in your CV, you demonstrate cultural awareness, adaptability and your ability to learn new skills.

Internships

In today’s competitive job market, listing internships on your CV can help boost your application and make you stand out from other candidates.

With many employers preferring to hire candidates with relevant work experience, including internship experience on your CV can demonstrate that you have the necessary skills to perform in the job, especially if you’re a student or a recent graduate or have limited work experience.

It’s important to note, however, that internships should be relevant for the industry, field or position you’re applying for and highlight meaningful responsibilities, such as running social media accounts, coordinating events, drafting reports, etc.

Courses and Qualifications

This section includes all further education that has been completed outside of regular school/university or vocational training, whether that’s job-related training or language stays abroad.

While listing your professional qualifications and courses can demonstrate a willingness to develop yourself further as well as an ability to learn, whether you include this section in your CV will depend on the work experience you have and the amount of space left on your CV.

Where possible, any further training you list on your CV should be evidenced by certificates or diplomas for credibility.

Volunteer Work Experience

If you have limited work experience or gaps in your career history, including volunteer work experience on your CV can be an invaluable accompaniment to your application.

Not only do you demonstrate to employers that you have real-world experience and transferable skills, but you also give them a glimpse of your personality and the causes you’re passionate about.

In fact, research shows that employers tend to favour candidates with volunteer work experience as it shows that you are purpose-driven and that you have a growth mindset.

Extracurricular Activities

If you’ve just left school or university, rounding out your CV with extracurricular activities could make up for your lack of work experience. Pursued with the purpose of developing skills for the job market, extracurricular activities serve as proof of practical skills and demonstrate favourable qualities such as self-motivation, teamwork, communication and leadership.

Which extracurricular activities you include in your CV will depend on the role you’re applying for, so it’s a good idea to study the job description carefully to note the role’s requirements.

Hobbies and Interests

Including your hobbies and interests on your CV can give a human touch to your CV as well as add individuality to your application. In addition, hobbies can indicate specialist knowledge or skills. For example, if you blog in your spare time, this demonstrates creativity and communication skills.

Nevertheless, the hobbies and interests section is an optional section of your CV and should only be included if it adds value to your application and aligns with the professional image you’re trying to convey to prospective employers.

When written well, references can form an important part of your job application as they provide recruiters and employers proof of your character, skills and work history. Adding references to your CV can lend more weight and credibility to your application; employers see that there are people who can vouch for your suitability for the role.

With this in mind, however, including references in your CV is no longer common practice, unless an employer specifically requests them.

What is the purpose of a CV?

When you apply for a job, you have two opportunities to show recruiters and prospective employers that you’re a good match for the role. These are your CV and cover letter .

As the first impression a prospective employer will have of you, your CV should provide a succinct but meaningful overview of your work experience, education, skills and qualifications and make clear why you’re a great candidate for the advertised position.

Your letter, on the other hand, is primarily used to add more context to your CV, express your motivation(s) for applying and further explain your value.

How to write a CV?

Before you start writing your CV, it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the different sections that go into a CV as well as how it should be structured. Having a CV checklist at hand can help ensure that you don’t overlook anything before you send off your application.

Using a CV template can also help you organise your personal statement or CV objective, work experience, education, skills and qualifications in a clear and presentable way. Ideally, your CV should not be more than 2 A4 pages long and address any gaps you may have in your career.

CV format and structure

A clearly structured CV gives recruiters and prospective employers a quick overview of who you are and why you’re the ideal candidate for the advertised position. That’s why it’s important to take the time to decide on the formatting of your CV before you sit down to write it.

While your CV should be tailored to the job description to be effective, there are core sections that belong in every CV. These include your contact details, personal statement or CV objective, work experience, education, and skills. Optional sections include relevant professional courses or certificates and internship experience.

Format and layout

When writing your CV, it’s important to pay attention to the layout as well as the content. This is because a well-written, professionally presented CV conveys that you’re a credible candidate to be taken seriously, whereas a messy, disorganised CV speaks volumes about your professionalism or lack thereof.

A few pointers for creating a clear and structured CV include giving sections clear headings, breaking up blocks of text with bullet points, making use of white space and using bold for headings and italics for subheadings.

With only seconds to impress with your CV, every detail counts - including the font you use. While the content of your CV is important, it’s crucial to put some thought and effort into its presentation, to convey a sense of professionalism.

A good font makes your CV look attractive and easy to read, not only by human readers but also by ATS. On the other hand, the wrong font is likely to make your CV look cluttered, and unreadable and annoy recruiters.

Ultimately, the font you choose will depend on your industry and the role you’re applying for.

Your CV is intended to give recruiters and prospective employers a brief overview of your career history and qualifications. With the average job posting attracting hundreds or even thousands of applications, recruiters typically spend seconds scanning CVs. If you send a CV that’s too long, you risk important information being overlooked.

For the most part, a CV consisting of two A4 pages is sufficient for recruiters to quickly determine whether you’re a suitable candidate. However, depending on the amount of work experience you have in the industry in which you work, the standard recommended length may not apply.

What types of CVs are there?

How you present your work experience, education, skills and qualifications has just as much impact as the content in your CV, so it’s important to select the right type of CV for the job you’re applying for and your circumstances.

Generally, there are two main types of CVs: the chronological (or traditional) CV and a skills-based (or functional) CV.

Irrespective of the type of CV you opt for, the goal should always be to highlight the most relevant information for the job description so that recruiters can quickly see at a glance whether you’re a good fit for the job.

Chronological CV

As the name suggests, a chronological CV presents your work experience and education in reverse chronological order, starting with your most recent experience. This allows recruiters to quickly see your career progression and determine your suitability for a position.

Chronological CVs are a great choice for highlighting professional growth and consistent career history but are less suitable if you have frequently changed jobs or have gaps in your employment as these are made more noticeable.

Skills-based CV

A skills-based or functional CV focuses primarily on your skills, competencies and accomplishments rather than your work experience. This type of CV is beneficial if you have career gaps, changed jobs within a short period of time or are switching careers and you want to highlight transferable skills.

When writing a skills-based or functional CV, you’ll still need to include important information such as your contact details (name, address, phone number, email address and Linkedin URL). And as with a traditional CV, it’s important to include a personal statement or profile.

Other CV types

In addition to the types of CVs mentioned above, there are also other CVs such as the creative CV , Europass CV and academic CV . These formats are appropriate for specific industries or when applying internationally.

  • Creative CV: A creative CV differs from a standard CV in its layout and design, whether through colour, typography or format (website, video, Pinterest, etc.). For jobs in industries such as design, art, media, etc., creative is a good choice for showcasing creative skills and standing out from the competition.
  • Europass CV: The Europass CV is a Europe-wide standardised template in 28 languages, in which education, professional experience and competencies are presented in an internationally understandable way. The Europass CV makes sense especially if you want to apply for jobs across national borders or at international companies.
  • Academic CV: An academic CV focuses on academic achievements, research interests and specialist skills and is useful for applying for jobs in higher education for funding or for other opportunities in academia. With a stronger focus on education than a traditional CV, an academic CV is designed to provide a complete picture of your experience to show you’re the best candidate for academic posts and research positions.

Creating a CV with Jobseeker

Applying for a job can be a stressful process, especially when it comes to creating the perfect CV. With the average job attracting hundreds of applications, your CV will more than likely not be successful if it has a cluttered layout, is full of spelling mistakes or is simply too long or too short.

Jobseeker makes life easier by providing articles with the best CV tips , CV examples for numerous professions and industries, and CV templates to help you create a CV to impress and land your dream job. To get started, simply enter your details in the relevant tool and select the appropriate template. You can also view our cover letter templates to kickstart your job search.

However, if you have questions related to the tools available in Jobseeker, their use and pricing , please visit our ‘ Frequently asked questions ’ page. If not all your questions are answered or you have any other concerns or suggestions, you can contact us directly here.

Do you have unanswered questions? Take a look at our FAQ

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More From Forbes

5 ai resume builders you should try in 2024.

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A resume builder should not be used as a magic wand, but it can certainly reduce anxiety in the job ... [+] search process and help you process your thoughts, skills and experiences in a way that will resonate with the recruiting team

In your quest to create the perfect resume, no doubt you've encountered several AI (artificial intelligence) applications all supposedly guaranteeing the same promise: to be able to save you time, worry, and stress, and generate a shiny new document that will get you past the gatekeepers and secure an initial interview.

If you've never used a generative AI tool before, you might be concerned and initially apprehensive.

And you should be.

After all, you don't want to take any chances and wreck an entire application that has already taken considerable painstaking effort.

With the plethora of options you have to choose from, it might be overwhelming to know which resume builders are worth your money (if you do need to pay anything at all) and which ones have the highest chances of success.

But as long as you follow these guidelines to make your resume with AI, you'll be on the right track:

How To Find A Good Resume Builder

When looking for a resume builder, you will need to carefully weigh up several factors including:

  • Ease of navigation and user experience
  • Your budget and pricing options available—including any free trials or free plans you might be able to take advantage of
  • Trustpilot and Product Hunt reviews, Reddit discussions and reviews, and even asking your professional connections on LinkedIn
  • Value for the price
  • Comparison of features and customization options—customization is extremely important for your resume to be effective
  • ATS compatibility

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A note on ATS compatibility: Applicant tracking systems are becoming more modernized, and as such, some features that would have been rendered unreadable and disqualify you from a position (such as double columns) are now accessible thanks to updated parsing technology, according to an Enhancv study .

However, it's worth bearing in mind that according to the study, a resume built with Canva or Microsoft Word tends to fare better overall without double columns—a 93% success rate compared to an 86% success rate for double columns.

At the same time, using a different software such as Google Docs yields an impressive 99% success rate, regardless of whether the resume was created with a single or double column.

5 AI-Powered Resume Builders

Below are five positively-reviewed AI-powered resume builder tools you can use to make your application truly stand out to hiring managers. Some, such as Enhancv, are tested against ATS software (applicant tracking systems that recruiters use to help screen candidate resumes) to ensure full compatibility:

  • Resumaker AI

How To Use A Resume Builder

Whichever resume builder you decide to use from the list above, it's essential to understand that AI is not a quick fix. While it certainly provides much needed assistance as you figure out how to make a resume that truly stands out to employers, you will need to ensure that you double check the final output for grammatical issues, spelling mistakes, inconsistencies, needless repetitions, and a lack of human flow in the writing style—all of which can be obvious tell-tale signs that your resume was written by AI.

Additionally, while AI can help with formatting and readability, you need to ensure that the final document reflects who you really are and is one that you are personally happy and comfortable with.

Using a resume builder doesn't take away from the fact that you need to sell yourself effectively. AI will only provide impetus to what you already have. An AI-powered resume builder won't do the selling for you. This means quantifying your achievements where possible and using this data to feed the resume builder.

Resume builders will also help you identify keywords to help you beat ATS—but you'll need to check over these to ensure they apply to you, and look out for any other resume keywords which are familiar terms in your industry so you can highlight the right keywords to catch the attention of recruiters.

Finally, it's essential to note that resume builders will not take away the necessity for mental effort. You still need to closely study job descriptions and highlight relevant experience, education, skills (including soft skills) and certificates that you possess, so that you can input these into the tool.

This is because resume builders may sometimes include skills that are not relevant to you, in an effort to match with the job description for the role you wish to apply for, so you'll need to ensure that you review these for accuracy. Also, some may only focus on your last role, so you'll need to add extra experiences to bulk up your resume and provide deeper context into your skills and experience.

Resume builders offer incredible features such as customization options, free trials, and assistance ... [+] with keywords.

Overall, crafting the perfect resume that actually gets you hired comes down to a combination of your personal input and self-belief in your abilities, and the complementary augmentation of artificial intelligence tools. Job searching can be an exhausting process, so utilize these resume builders to make your efforts easier and give you greater piece of mind—edging you closer to your dream job.

Rachel Wells

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14 Ways To Get Resume Help For Free

Posted: March 28, 2024 | Last updated: March 28, 2024

<p>There are endless amounts of resume tips and tricks out there – no wonder people are intimidated to write one on their own. But it’s really not that difficult. If you are a good match for the role, making a strong resume will be a snap.</p> <p>Your resume is not something you can just quickly throw together or copy from Google, though. It’s your introduction to a potential employer that tells them why <em>you are the one</em> they need to hire. A bad resume will make the wrong first impression and likely prevent you from even getting an interview.</p> <p>Developing a strong resume takes time, as it’s unique to you and your experiences. That’s why it’s essential to get help with your resume, especially if you’ve been looking for a job for a while.  </p> <p>The good news is that there are plenty of free ways to get resume help, whether you want to do it yourself with a little support or want more hands-on assistance.</p>

There are endless amounts of resume tips and tricks out there – no wonder people are intimidated to write one on their own. But it’s really not that difficult. If you are a good match for the role, making a strong resume will be a snap.

Your resume is not something you can just quickly throw together or copy from Google, though. It’s your introduction to a potential employer that tells them why you are the one they need to hire. A bad resume will make the wrong first impression and likely prevent you from even getting an interview.

Developing a strong resume takes time, as it’s unique to you and your experiences. That’s why it’s essential to get help with your resume, especially if you’ve been looking for a job for a while.  

The good news is that there are plenty of free ways to get resume help, whether you want to do it yourself with a little support or want more hands-on assistance.

<p>Similarly, you and your partner can start a blog together where you write about your favorite things. Blogs are a great way to make money because you can monetize your site and your content in so many different ways. From ads, sponsored content, and affiliate marketing to selling digital products or offering consulting services, the potential for financial success is as vast as your imagination.</p><p>I know lots of couples who blog together full-time and part-time. One writes while the other edits or one person handles the tech issues while the other manages your email.</p>

1. Ask Your Friends and Family

You should have another person review your resume at a minimum. They can help you catch typos and other grammatical mistakes, even if they know nothing about writing resumes or the industry you’re applying for. 

Sometimes not knowing much about your chosen field is a good thing. The person reviewing your resume can pinpoint any time you use industry jargon or acronyms that may be unclear. Someone in the HR department may not be familiar with these terms, either. You should be using keywords from the job posting or job description to help avoid any confusion.

Your friends and family can also tell you whether or not your resume passes the 6-second glance test . If they can’t tell you within a few seconds what type of job you’re trying to get, your resume isn’t doing its job and needs fixing.

<p>Asking a trusted colleague or co-worker for help with your resume is smart because they know more about the industry and job responsibilities. This is particularly true for specialized and technical roles.</p><p>You do need to be careful about who you ask, though. Unless you are applying for a <a href="https://mylifeiguess.com/how-to-ask-for-a-promotion/" rel="noopener">promotion</a> or internal transfer, you might not want your coworkers to know that you are applying for jobs elsewhere. This information could be passed on to your manager, and you probably don’t want that to happen. Instead, you could reach out to a former colleague or someone from your network.</p>

2. Ask Your Colleagues

Asking a trusted colleague or co-worker for help with your resume is smart because they know more about the industry and job responsibilities. This is particularly true for specialized and technical roles.

You do need to be careful about who you ask, though. Unless you are applying for a promotion or internal transfer, you might not want your coworkers to know that you are applying for jobs elsewhere. This information could be passed on to your manager, and you probably don’t want that to happen. Instead, you could reach out to a former colleague or someone from your network.

<p>Grammarly is a free program that is essentially an elevated spell-checker and grammar checker. It will catch common writing mistakes and offer suggestions to make your sentences more concise. The clearer and easier your resume is, the better.</p><p>You can use Grammarly with the browser extension, copy and paste your text into their website editor, in Google Docs, or install the Microsoft Word and Outlook add-in. It even works on your text messages and social media updates if you download the app on your phone! </p><p>If you do a lot of writing and use Grammarly every day on every article, email, and resume I write. </p>

3. Use Grammarly

Grammarly is a free program that is essentially an elevated spell-checker and grammar checker. It will catch common writing mistakes and offer suggestions to make your sentences more concise. The clearer and easier your resume is, the better.

You can use Grammarly with the browser extension, copy and paste your text into their website editor, in Google Docs, or install the Microsoft Word and Outlook add-in. It even works on your text messages and social media updates if you download the app on your phone! 

If you do a lot of writing and use Grammarly every day on every article, email, and resume I write. 

<p>This expression is a rather memorable way to say, “Do the worst thing first.” The idea is that getting your most dreaded task out of the way will make the rest of your day much better. On the other hand, if you keep putting it off, your day is going to suck because it’s looming over you.</p>

4. Get Feedback From Reddit Resumes

Yes, strangers in the Reddit Resumes community will help you with your resume. And I have to say, as a long-time lurker and occasional commenter, I have been really impressed with the advice people in this community give. With over 1.1 million members in the subreddit, you can upload a version of your resume (with your personal details removed), and people will offer their advice and suggestions.

If you’re not comfortable posting your own resume, browsing through the threads is also incredibly helpful, especially if you can find people applying to similar jobs. These examples will show you what your resume should look like.

<p><a href="https://detailed.com/career-blogs/">Career blogs</a> offer tons of advice and resources, usually for free. You can browse through the articles for resume tips or sign up for their email lists and job-related resources. Some resources and services may come at a cost, but signing up for an email list is usually all you need to get access. But there are also <a href="https://mylifeiguess.com/free-career-resources/">free career resources</a> you can find without signing up.</p>

5. Find Advice on Career Blogs

Career blogs offer tons of advice and resources, usually for free. You can browse through the articles for resume tips or sign up for their email lists and job-related resources. Some resources and services may come at a cost, but signing up for an email list is usually all you need to get access. But there are also free career resources you can find without signing up.

<p>Lots of folks work a traditional job for their entire professional life, even though <a class="rank-math-link" href="https://mylifeiguess.com/i-hate-my-job/">they hate it</a>. That’s because they’ve been taught that going freelance is too risky. There’s too much uncertainty and not enough security, so they cling to what they know. Laura Gariepy disagrees.</p><p>Here’s the deal: When you go freelance, you become a small business owner. And, unfortunately, most small businesses fail. But that doesn’t mean staying in your job is a safe bet.</p><p>In fact, relying on a single income source (aka your sole employer) to cover your expenses and fund your future is a big gamble. You could lose that job at any point, which cuts off the cash flow you need. Self-employment actually mitigates this risk.</p><p>When you freelance, you have built-in income diversification because you have multiple clients. One (or more) avenue could dry up, and you’d still have money coming in. You can also prepare for lean times by having a cash cushion and knowing which expenses to cut.</p><p>Of course, self-employment isn’t for everyone. And there’s nothing wrong with working for someone else. But, if <a class="rank-math-link" href="https://www.beforeyougofreelance.com/eliminate-financial-fear-freelancers/" rel="noopener">financial fear</a> is holding you back, remember that freelancing isn’t necessarily riskier than having a traditional J-O-B.</p>

6. Use Resume & ATS Scanning Websites

There are plenty of free (or free trial) sites that will review your resume and compare it to the specific job posting you’re applying for. The algorithms will tell you exactly what needs work, as well as what keywords you’re missing. 

Most employers use scanning software (Applicant Tracking Systems or ATS) to initially screen applications. While these scanners won’t catch spelling mistakes or other errors, they will tell you if you are using the right keywords for the job. And you need those keywords to make it to the next step in the hiring process.

Sites like ResumeWorded.com and Jobscan.co are my personal favorites and are easy to use. (You will need to create a free account, but they don’t ask for a credit card or any payment info.) 

<p>You don’t have to search for a job alone. There are many different ways you can get assisted, professional help with your resume and job hunting for free. </p><p>Employment centers, unemployment centers, career centers, <a href="https://www.careeronestop.org/LocalHelp/local-help.aspx">American Job Centers</a>, employment agencies, employment assessment centers, training centers, skill development centers … No matter what they’re called, these organizations are government-funded and free for everyone to use.</p><p>The specific services offered at each location will vary, but generally speaking, you can expect to find access to computers and printers, job postings, resume templates, interview preparation tips, workshops, and career assessment tests. There is also staff available to answer your questions and assist you. As a bonus, if your local center also works with hiring managers and employers, you can get access to <a href="https://mylifeiguess.com/the-hidden-job-market/">the hidden job market</a>.</p><p>Employment counseling may also be available, but there might be eligibility criteria (such as being unemployed, working part-time, or within a specific age group). </p>

7. Go To an Employment Center

You don’t have to search for a job alone. There are many different ways you can get assisted, professional help with your resume and job hunting for free. 

Employment centers, unemployment centers, career centers, American Job Centers , employment agencies, employment assessment centers, training centers, skill development centers … No matter what they’re called, these organizations are government-funded and free for everyone to use.

The specific services offered at each location will vary, but generally speaking, you can expect to find access to computers and printers, job postings, resume templates, interview preparation tips, workshops, and career assessment tests. There is also staff available to answer your questions and assist you. As a bonus, if your local center also works with hiring managers and employers, you can get access to the hidden job market .

Employment counseling may also be available, but there might be eligibility criteria (such as being unemployed, working part-time, or within a specific age group). 

<p>If you belong to a specific demographic, many social service organizations provide career and job search support. These groups include: </p><ul> <li>Immigrants, refugees, and newcomers</li> <li>Veterans</li> <li>People with disabilities</li> <li>People with mental health illnesses</li> <li>People with <a href="https://mylifeiguess.com/companies-that-hire-felons/">criminal records</a></li> <li>Youth (typically ages 15-25, but can go up to age 29)</li> <li>People of Aboriginal descent  </li> <li>Homeless people or those living in shelters </li> <li>People with barriers to employment</li> </ul><p>In North America, you can call 211 and be connected with the right help, or visit <a href="https://www.211.org/">www.211.org</a> (US) or <a href="https://211.ca/">www.211.ca</a> (Canada). </p>

8. Find a Social Service Organization

If you belong to a specific demographic, many social service organizations provide career and job search support. These groups include: 

  • Immigrants, refugees, and newcomers
  • People with disabilities
  • People with mental health illnesses
  • People with criminal records
  • Youth (typically ages 15-25, but can go up to age 29)
  • People of Aboriginal descent  
  • Homeless people or those living in shelters 
  • People with barriers to employment

In North America, you can call 211 and be connected with the right help, or visit www.211.org (US) or www.211.ca (Canada). 

<p>Most libraries offer training workshops on various topics, including filing taxes and writing resumes. Unlike the do-it-yourself approach, attending workshops gives you the chance to ask questions and get the specific answers you need.</p><p>Some libraries also provide job-related information, resume examples, and helpful links on their website. And, of course, they have books and other resources to help with your career development beyond the hiring process.</p><p>You should also ask or check out what other free training courses they offer or can refer you to. Learning <a href="https://mylifeiguess.com/learn-new-job-skills-for-free/">new job skills</a> will make your resume stronger!</p>

9. Check Out the Library

Most libraries offer training workshops on various topics, including filing taxes and writing resumes. Unlike the do-it-yourself approach, attending workshops gives you the chance to ask questions and get the specific answers you need.

Some libraries also provide job-related information, resume examples, and helpful links on their website. And, of course, they have books and other resources to help with your career development beyond the hiring process.

You should also ask or check out what other free training courses they offer or can refer you to. Learning new job skills will make your resume stronger!

<p>Continuing education centers and community centers run various workshops, including job readiness, soft skill development, resume and cover letter assistance, and job searching tips. Depending on the center, they may also provide free career coaching.</p><p>If your local adult education or literacy groups don’t offer these services, they can tell you where you can go to get free resume help.</p><p>The employment center I work at has a close partnership with all education, upgrading, and training service providers in our region and will often run workshops for their participants.</p>

10. Try Adult Education Centers & Literacy Centers

Continuing education centers and community centers run various workshops, including job readiness, soft skill development, resume and cover letter assistance, and job searching tips. Depending on the center, they may also provide free career coaching.

If your local adult education or literacy groups don’t offer these services, they can tell you where you can go to get free resume help.

The employment center I work at has a close partnership with all education, upgrading, and training service providers in our region and will often run workshops for their participants.

<p>If you are a student, soon-to-be graduate, recent graduate, or alumni, check what career services your college or university provides. A benefit of working with your school’s career center is that they will be more familiar with the degree or diploma program you took and can provide more targeted assistance. </p>

11. Go to Your College Career Services

If you are a student, soon-to-be graduate, recent graduate, or alumni, check what career services your college or university provides. A benefit of working with your school’s career center is that they will be more familiar with the degree or diploma program you took and can provide more targeted assistance. 

<p>Also known as temp agencies, staffing agencies are designed to match job seekers with employers who are hiring. </p><p>As a job seeker, you can meet with a recruiter (for free) who will ask about your skills and experience. They will critique your resume and provide feedback on how to strengthen it and what types of jobs you’re best suited for. If your qualifications match an open vacancy, you may not even need to worry about fixing your resume. You could be hired directly for the role!</p>

12. Try Staffing Agencies

Also known as temp agencies, staffing agencies are designed to match job seekers with employers who are hiring. 

As a job seeker, you can meet with a recruiter (for free) who will ask about your skills and experience. They will critique your resume and provide feedback on how to strengthen it and what types of jobs you’re best suited for. If your qualifications match an open vacancy, you may not even need to worry about fixing your resume. You could be hired directly for the role!

<p>Anything you do online to make money can be considered a part-time night job. Freelance writing, virtual assisting, web design… the possibilities are endless, really. The caveat is that not all avenues are created equally. Gig roles can be one-off projects that are few and far between, or you might find someone who always has work available.</p><p>The advantages are that you can work from home, set your own hours (so you’re not limited to only working at night), and control how many projects you take on. The downsides are that they can be inconsistent, hard to find, and rarely offer job security. But if you find something that works, it’s a win-win!</p>

13. Use Resume Builders

There are dozens of free resume-building sites , including Jobscan, My Perfect Resume, and Resume.com. Each site has its own guidelines for a free account, but most will cover what you need. With a resume builder, you add your details, and it does the rest, giving you a properly formatted and ATS-friendly resume.

Pro Tip: While these sites are fantastic, they aren’t perfect. Be sure to proofread your resume and correct any mistakes before sending it out.

<p>Professional resume writers are not free, but they can be affordable and a worthwhile investment (especially if it means you get hired). Depending on what level you are at and what is included, expect to pay anywhere from $100 – $500 to have your resume written for you by a human. </p><p>According to <a href="https://www.thebalancecareers.com/best-resume-writing-services-4582137">the Balance Careers</a>, the best resume writing services available online include Let’s Eat, Grandma, Monster.com, and The Muse.</p><p>If you prefer to work with someone who knows more about your local economy, search online for “professional resume writers near me” and read through the reviews. Unfortunately, anyone can call themselves a professional resume writer, even if they lack the qualifications. So, if you decide to go this route, asking for a personal recommendation is your best bet if you know anyone who has hired a resume writer before. </p>

14. Professional Resume Writers (Not Free)

Professional resume writers are not free, but they can be affordable and a worthwhile investment (especially if it means you get hired). Depending on what level you are at and what is included, expect to pay anywhere from $100 – $500 to have your resume written for you by a human. 

According to the Balance Careers , the best resume writing services available online include Let’s Eat, Grandma, Monster.com, and The Muse.

If you prefer to work with someone who knows more about your local economy, search online for “professional resume writers near me” and read through the reviews. Unfortunately, anyone can call themselves a professional resume writer, even if they lack the qualifications. So, if you decide to go this route, asking for a personal recommendation is your best bet if you know anyone who has hired a resume writer before. 

<p>Don’t be afraid to get free help with <a href="https://mylifeiguess.com/make-a-resume-step-by-step-guide/">your resume</a> and job search. Finding a job can take a long time, but with free resume help, you can stop looking and start working at a job you enjoy!</p>

Free, But Not Cheap, Resume Help

Don’t be afraid to get free help with your resume and job search. Finding a job can take a long time, but with free resume help, you can stop looking and start working at a job you enjoy!

<p>With hundreds of people applying for coveted positions, how can you ensure your resume doesn’t get lost in the shuffle? The answer lies in one word: skills. From in-demand technical proficiencies to sought-after soft skills, we’ve curated the definitive list of the <a href="https://mylifeiguess.com/skills-for-resume/">top 25 skills</a> that employers simply can’t resist.</p>

You Need These Skills on Your Resume

With hundreds of people applying for coveted positions, how can you ensure your resume doesn’t get lost in the shuffle? The answer lies in one word: skills. From in-demand technical proficiencies to sought-after soft skills, we’ve curated the definitive list of the top 25 skills that employers simply can’t resist.

<p>Accomplishing small goals is just as important as big ones. Answering three important emails is better than not answering any. Creating a draft or outline instead of <a href="https://mylifeiguess.com/how-to-stop-procrastinating/">procrastinating</a> still gets you closer to the final product.</p><p>Adding small tasks to your to-do list is actually a great idea. You’ll be able to finish a bunch of things in only a few minutes, motivating you to achieve more and keep going. So be patient with yourself, try not to get frustrated with the process, and take it one step at a time.</p>

How to Add Your Side Hustle to Your Resume

It seems like everyone has side hustles these days, yet few people think to include them on their resumes. Like any traditional job, side hustles teach you valuable, transferable skills that employers are looking for—skills like time management, multi-tasking, and initiative. So it makes sense to include your side hustle on your resume , and there are a lot of different ways to do so.

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The No. 1 AI mistake job seekers make, from a career expert: So many people use ChatGPT 'in exactly the wrong way'

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As a leader at the education nonprofit Khan Academy, I was thrilled when ChatGPT came out in November 2022. It meant we could use generative AI to provide personalized tutoring to more kids than ever.

But as a hiring manager and cofounder of a career development business who's trained first-gen students at CUNY and MBAs at Harvard Business School alike, I was heartbroken to see that so many job seekers were using these tools in exactly the wrong way. 

They forgot that no matter how exciting this new technology is, humans are still in charge of the hiring process. Which is why having a robot write your resume is a recipe for disaster.

But given that I wrote the literal book on using ChatGPT in your job search , I know you can still turn to AI to make your resume shine. Used properly, it can help you land the interview — and ultimately the job. 

The wrong way to use AI for your resume

In my experience, most job seekers using ChatGPT or other AI platforms begin with a prompt like "Generate a marketing resume." This might seem like a great place to start, but it's the biggest mistake you could make. Here's why: 

The results are massively generic 

Take this summary, for instance:

As a hiring manager, the first thing I'm always looking for is evidence of specific accomplishments. When I scan this, though, my first thought is "Wow — this candidate is great at buzzwords, but not so great at actual marketing." 

That's hardly the first impression you want to make when employers spend seven seconds , on average, reviewing your resume!

ChatGPT and other AI tools are going to make stuff up 

As if that wasn't bad enough, check out what comes next under a single job listing under the experience section:

Not only do these bullet points lack specificity (with no clear projects or outcomes), but the sheer range of skills covered is literally unbelievable. As in, I've never met a marketer in my two-decade career who did all of these things in one job.

So my human BS detector immediately assumes the worst: This isn't a resume, this is a hallucination!

The right way to use AI for your resume

OK, you get the picture: Having AI generate your resume from scratch can be a fast track to rejection. But if we know that human reviewers want specificity and credibility, we can actually leverage AI to help us with those exact things.

1. Start with a draft resume written by a human (i.e., you)

Instead of asking AI to generate your resume, start with your own first draft, even if it's in rough shape. That way, you can at least be specific and accurate about what you actually did, even if those accomplishments need a little polishing.

2. Identify and incorporate missing keywords

Go right to the source of truth. The job description was created by the hiring team to spell out the skills they're looking for — and it contains the exact keywords you want to match.

Here's where you turn to AI. Enter the following prompt: 

  • Which keywords from the below job description are missing from my resume? 
  • Here's the job description: [Paste the job description here] 
  • And here's my resume: [Paste the text of your resume here]

Once you've got a list of missing keywords, identify the ones you have experience with and prompt the AI to help you incorporate them: 

Suggest three ways to incorporate [keyword] into my resume.

3. Quantify achievements and demonstrate results

The best predictor of future performance is usually past performance, which means recruiters and hiring managers want to see real results, not just hallucinations.

So get a little nudge in the right direction with a prompt like: 

Suggest three ways to add more quantitative impact to the following bullet point: [Paste your bullet point here]

Now, it's tempting to copy and paste the bullets your AI platform suggests straight into your resume. But make sure you're editing the text to match your actual accomplishments. For instance, maybe you generated $300,000 in donations, not $500,000 like the AI spit out, or your organization actually measures growth quarterly rather than monthly.

4. Review, review, review!

Always proofread your resume before submitting it. If you've used AI, it's all the more important to review every last word and number to make sure everything's 100% accurate. 

The last thing you want is to be sitting in a final-round interview and have your prospective boss's boss's boss ask you about a resume bullet the AI fabricated and you forgot to update!

Jeremy Schifeling is the founder of  The Job Insiders , which provides career technology training for hundreds of top universities and business schools. He is also the author of " Career Coach GPT: The Complete Guide to ChatGPT Resume, Cover Letter, Interview, and Job Search Success " and shares his latest career and AI hacks on LinkedIn .

Want to land your dream job in 2024?  Take  CNBC's new online course How to Ace Your Job Interview  to learn what hiring managers are really looking for, body language techniques, what to say and not to say, and the best way to talk about pay. CNBC Make It readers can save 25% with discount code 25OFF.

Plus,  sign up for CNBC Make It's newsletter  to get tips and tricks for success at work, with money and in life.

This 28-year-old works 3.5 days a week and makes $189,000

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    27 adjectives to describe your conscientiousness. Highlighting your work ethic, organizational skills, and problem solving abilities is a great way to show hiring managers that you'd be a dedicated employee: Diligent. Attentive. Responsible. Enthusiastic. Industrious. Keen. Observant.