Land a Job! Changes You Need to Make to Your Resume

The end of extended unemployment benefits for more than 1.3 million people this weekend could result in an even more crowded market for job seekers.

But Leena Mendoza of Fresno, who works as a consultant to help people find jobs, says there are changes you can make right now, that could give you the edge.

"It's what you know and who you know," she says. "Competency level is really important. What employers are looking for is communication, being effective, and being efficient."

Mendoza has been helping people for the last 17 years, and knows it's hard for those struggling to find a job; unemployment in Fresno County is consistently in the double digits.

"It's embarrassing to them," she says. "They feel like they're not good providers. They feel like failures, they feel defeated. It's very sensitive."

Mendoza says the first mistake many make on their resume is listing a job objective.

"It's a very menial sentence. 'To find an entry level position' I tell people in my resume workshops that when employers see that, they can hire you as a janitor. They say, 'that's not what I want,'" says Mendoza.

Instead, people should write a Summary of Qualifications.

In other words, let employers know what skills you bring, and what you are worth, right off the bat.

"I ask them, write that sentence as if I was doing to pay you for that paragraph," says Mendoza. "Does it make me want to pay you $50,000 a year? $80,000 a year?"

And if you're among those who has been without a job for months, or years, there are changes you could make now to also improve your odds of landing a job.

Add things you have doneeven if they were not paid.

This could include:

-Volunteering at your child's school

-Babysitting a neighbor's child

-Helping a friend with bookkeeping

"Because of low self-esteem, they don't see those as skills," Mendoza says.

In other words, everything counts! You don't want gaps in time, that will be hard to explain.

Mendoza says that as soon as some Human Resources Specialists see a gap in employment, they, "throw it out. The longer you're without a job, the misnomer is that you're not ready to work, and that you are lazy, and that you don't know what to do, or you're behind."

Also, be prepared and dress for success when you drop off your resume or fill out an application.

"They might remember you--if you are not prepared!" Mendoza says.

She adds that it's important to create a rapport with the receptionist.

"If you can get along with the receptionist and get information on what they are looking for, that receptionist may say, {}'you know I really liked Maria,'" says Mendoza. "Receptionists have a lot of say of what can or cannot happen."

And, once you land an interview, some key words make a difference.

This includes three words: Upward Career Mobility.

"They don't know how to answer the questions that have to specifically do with how to sell themselves. I want to encourage them to use those words that are more positive. Say {}'I'm looking for Upward career mobility,'" she says. "What employers are looking for is communication, being effective, and being efficient."

And if you continue to get passed on job opportunities, don't give up.

Mendoza equates it to the dating scene.

"Say if you only dated one guy and that didn't work out, would you stop dating forever? That's when I say, why would you only apply for one job?" she says.