Getting the most out of your application
If you want your résumé to stand out when you apply for a job — and you don't know anyone at that company who can refer you for the position — the most important thing you can do is make your past experience sound as much as possible like the job you want.
This will make you sound more qualified. Your résumé is most likely being looked over by a computer program first, followed by a person who knows as much about the job as you do, so using the same words in your résumé that you see in the job description and requirements will make you a more obvious prime candidate.
Here are some tips:
Go through the job description line by line
Any time part of the job sounds like something you've done before, add it to the appropriate part of the "work experience" section in your résumé.
If the requirements for the job ask for a skill you do not have, find out how hard it would be to learn it. For relatively simple computer programs like Excel and Access, find a free tutorial online with which to learn the basics, and go ahead and add them to the "skills" section of your résumé. GoodTemps offers free online computer skills training for everyone who is registered with the agency.
If your résumé doesn't already start with an "objective" section, add one. Make your objective to be in a job just like the one you're applying for.
Carissa Doshi is a business writer and the president of Gen Y Media Group. She gives career advice and blogs about her experiences on www.carissadoshi.com. You can also follow @CarissaDoshi on Twitter.