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Resume makeover: 8 signs that you need to revamp your application skills

Published: Tuesday, Nov. 20 2012 10:25 a.m. MST

With so many applicants, employers can be picky. Resumes need to be packed with your track record of success. Cover letters are to show your enthusiasm, ability to communicate and that you are sane.

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Although the unemployment rate for October was 7.9 percent, difficulty in finding a job may not only be because of that. Presenting yourself well enough to get interviews is the first step. Here are eight signs U.S. News gives that your job search needs some revamping.

Not getting interviews

Résumés need to be packed with your track record of success. Cover letters are to show your enthusiasm, ability to communicate and that you are sane. Identify your specific skills and focus on that area. With so many applicants, employers can be picky.

Having first but not second interviews

No matter how good your résumé and cover letter are, the impression you make in an interview can override. Prepare for interviews and ask a contact for some feedback on how you present yourself.

Past colleagues won't help you network

If co-workers had a bad experience with you, or were disappointed in your work, it will be difficult for you to have them recommend or introduce you.

You don't know what jobs you are suited for

If you don't know, your potential employer won't either. Sell yourself for what position you want and would excel at.

Unemployed for six months

The market is tough, and six months in job searching isn't unusual, but if it's been longer without any serious interest from employers, it's time to look again at your résumé, cover letter and interview skills.

Internet job searching only

People do get jobs by applying to online postings, but with such heavy competition, you'll need something more. The most effective way to boost yourself above the rest is have a contact within that network.

You think the hiring process is not fair

While it's true that the process isn't fair, don't get hung up on that. Sometimes the job doesn't go to the most-qualified person. But employers can sense when you start to feel bitter.

Feeling desperate

"When job seekers are feeling desperate, they often make bad decisions — from trying gimmicks like sending gifts to their interviewer to being overly aggressive in calling employers," said Allison Green, a career advice writer, in her U.S. News article.

Stay calm and do the best you can. Desperation is dangerous, because it causes you to do things you wouldn't otherwise do.

EMAIL: alovell@deseretnews.com

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