Most job seekers write a resume and then use the same version across different jobs. Now as a writer, I’m able to successfully customise a resume when there is a specific job target in mind, but there are still changes and ‘tweaks’ that need to be made, so I develop profiles that can be easily changed by clients.
The reason these changes need to be made is that resumes are in reality marketing documents (not a record of your work history), and to market yourself effectively you need to focus on the EXACT employer’s needs. By focussing on employer needs, you set the stage for creating a resume that will meet the needs of employers, which in turn, will mean you will attract more interview and job offers.
Now the easiest way to focus on employer needs is to shift your perspective from thinking that a resume is about YOU, to a focus that your resume is about what you can offer THEM, that is the employer, recruiter, agency and selection panel members, if applying for government position.
The question you need to ask yourself:
What does the potential employer require and how can you meet these requirements?
Once you know what these employer requirements are (from research and the job advertisement) you can use the following strategies:
Shaping Content: Shape content so that the focus is on the exact needs of the employer. So for example, if the position is in relation to cultural change – as an HR Executive, you don’t want to be focussing your content on payroll changes you made, but on changes you made to workplace culture, such as leadership development.
Keywords & Phases: You can use the same wording in your resume that the employer uses in the job advertisement, so that these words ‘mirror’ the requirements of the employer. For example, if the job advertisement is after someone that can ‘meet deadlines, budgets and gross margin targets’, make sure these key words are incorporated and provide tangible evidence of your ability to meet deadlines, budgets and gross margin targets.
Be selective in what jobs you include: The traditional resume tended to list all work experience, going back to the year dot. To meet the needs of the employer, if your older work history does not match the requirements of the job, take this information out. All you are doing is distracting from what you offer the employer.
Develop a profile that matches employer requirements: The profile is the area that an employer and recruiter will quickly scan for meaning to see if you are a match. If your profile matches employer needs they are more likely to read your resume. So spend time matching your profile so it meets the needs of potential employers.