Find out what employers are looking for.
If there's one thing experts agree on, it's that job seekers who do their homework produce stronger resumes and do better in interviews than those who don't. Researching employer requirements is part of that homework.
Explore the following resources to determine what employers are looking for, learn about career trends, and more:
- Job boards and job ads. Study postings on job boards and ads in newspapers and journals. These tell you what skills, education, and other qualifications employers are looking for.
- Employer websites. Company websites can be a rich source of information. Along with job postings and other career information, you'll find information on a company's history, mission, and more.
- Professional association websites. These websites and related publications are a great way to track trends in your field, learn what skills are in demand, and even view job postings.
- Reference tools. The U.S. Department of Labor publishes two resources that are excellent sources of information for your resume: the Occupational Outlook Handbook and O*NET Online.
- Social networking sites. Tools like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter are great for research. For example, you can use LinkedIn to research companies and hiring managers you've identified.
As you research your job target, be sure to collect keywords from the various sources you explore. You can use these to appeal to employers in your resume, online profiles, and other documents.
Next, learn how to highlight your qualifications.