A professionally written resume is an important component to any job search. The overall effectiveness of the document, however, depends on certain variables; such as how/how often the resume is used, the types of marketing/submission strategies, and the continued relevance of the resume’s content. Concentrating on these important aspects (and others) ensures the resume will produce the all-important interviews that we strive for.
You see the resume one way, but hiring managers see it differently.
1. Use your resume as it is geared (focused) — not how you see it.
You see the resume one way, but hiring managers see it differently. It’s true. You quickly spot all the things that match the hiring company’s job requirements, but all too often, hiring managers painstakingly look for those skills that you see so easily. For example, think about an experienced purchasing agent. Hiring managers will only see purchasing skills in the resume unless the proper steps have been taken to gear the resume appropriately.
Crossing over into another career is doable, but certainly, a move that requires preparation from you — and definitely for the resume as well.
2. Persistent actions, not blind submission.
Taking a persistent and consistent approach to submitting your resume is one aspect of a job search that few job seekers take seriously – not necessarily because of the inability to be assertive, but rather due to the large task at hand. Job searching can be exhaustive, and individuals tend to lose initiative after receiving any degree of rejection. Submitting one or two resumes every day or so allows the job seeker to remain active in their search, yet allow enough time to focus on other aspects of their lives.
Job searching can be exhaustive, and individuals tend to lose initiative after receiving any degree of rejection.
Need tips for focusing your job search efforts? Start by building a list of industry-specific employers that best match your skill set and current career focus. Avoid applying to anyone and everyone — what some might call a spitball approach. Create a new list each week, submit your resume and introduction cover letter accordingly, and follow-up with each at some point over the next 5-8 business days to ensure receipt of your submission. By conducting follow-up, you put yourself on the phone with a company rep, which also enables you to answer any questions they may have about your skill set, resume, or whatever.
3. Add an eye-catching, action-provoking introduction to your resume.
Marketing professionals will tell you that the best marketing material has a “hook”: something that will make the reader take action. Relative to job searching, a hook should cause the reader to call for an interview, or possibly discuss your candidacy further with a colleague.
There is no clear definition of what a hook actually can or cannot be, but it should answer two or more of the following:
(a) How is this candidate different from the others applying?
(b) Does this candidate’s resume clearly outline and focus upon the company’s requirements, rather than cloud this information with irrelevant content?
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(c) Does this candidate possess the educational requirements specified?
(d) Does the candidate possess the minimum knowledge, skills, and abilities to satisfy the company’s short- and long-term goals?
4. Your resume should be a “key.”
Envision each available position as a door lock and your resume as the key that allows you passage. The resume should be a certain shape and size for the first lock, but require modification or a completely new design for the next.
No surprise, job roles vary from one company to the next and are rarely identical. Some require a straightforward set of job duties, while other companies need their employees to “wear many hats.” Take a secretary, for example. The job responsibilities for a secretary vary tremendously. Modifying the top section of the resume is generally the only upkeep required to ensure the resume continuously fits the lock of the door you’re trying to enter. Yet other modifications, such as rearrangement of categories/headers, replacing certain keywords or key phrases, and the restructuring of employment details, may be some of the additional changes that are needed. The idea is to continuously customize and give your resume edge to “fit” the employer’s point of entry.
5. Present your resume to your network — both online and offline.
Networking is still the tried-and-true king relevant to an effective job-search campaign. Today, however, job seekers are taking their campaigns online due to the ease of researching hiring companies, locating job openings using only 2 or 3 keywords in their favorite search engine, and resume submission.
“ … spitballing your efforts has proven time and time again to be a huge waste of time.”
Although establishing and building an online network can be time-consuming, spitballing your efforts has proven time and time again to be a huge waste of time. Experts believe job seekers that don’t leverage their networks ultimately spend extra time, effort and resources to produce the same results that come from networking.
Taking a serious approach to your job search campaign is mandatory to securing a favorable return from the resume. Avoiding some of the largest pitfalls that many job seekers fall into, will enable you to conduct a strategic and effective campaign that’s designed to get a job in the least amount of time.