As a fifteen–year veteran of Human Resources recruiting in both a corporate and an agency setting, I've devoted a third of my life to reviewing resumes. During this time, I saw every combination of resume fads and styles. It is abundantly clear to me that professionals spend too much time and money developing a winning resume when the client is not looking for a resume at all.
The client is not really interested in a full accounting of your education and employment. What he or she wants to know is if you have the required skills for the job and if you've successfully demonstrated mastery of those skills, preferably within the last 3 – 5 years.
Here are the questions most likely to be running through the client’s mind:
· Does the candidate have the required skills?
· Does the candidate clearly describe how he/she used the skills in his/her last few positions?
· Does the candidate demonstrate success in the skill sets required?
· Does the candidate have enough of the skills to be worth pursuing even if he/she is not a perfect fit?
· Is the candidate able to clearly communicate this on the resume or is it poorly written?
· Are the compensation expectations in line with the role?
· Is the candidate a fit from a “level” (grade) perspective? Is he/she looking to take a major step down just to find employment and then leave once a better opportunity presents itself? What is the risk in hiring the candidate?
· Will the candidate fit within the culture of the organization?
Most decision-makers review a countless number of resumes each day. On average, you only have 10 - 15 seconds in which to make a powerful first impression. If your Targeted Resume doesn’t “grab them” right away, there may not be another opportunity to grab them at all.
Still more food for thought: In the race for 21st century jobs, we are now living in an age of consensus hiring — the decision of “yea” or “nay” is not up to just one individual but rather a whole team. Your ability to “connect” with the entire team matters a great deal.
Finally, you'll have a much better chance of being considered for an interview if the experience you cite is relevant, current, and clearly written. This way, no one with input on your suitability will misunderstand or misinterpret what you’ve written. That is the power of the targeted resume.
Separating Resume Fallacies From Facts
· The purpose of a resume is to list all your skills and abilities.
· A good resume will get you the job you want.
· Your resume will be read carefully and thoroughly by an interested employer.
· The more good information you provide about yourself in your resume, the better.
· If you want a really good resume, have it prepared by a resume service
· The purpose of a resume is to spark employer interest and generate an interview.
· All a resume can do is get you in the door.
· Your resume probably has less than 10 seconds to make an impression.
· Too much information on a resume may kill the reader’s appetite to know more.
· Resumes are written to impress, not inform. Think of your resume as a marketing tool, not an historical record. It is valuable real estate, so use it for your most impressive but relevant information.
Specific Steps for Preparing a Targeted Resume:
1. Copy and paste the core requirements and responsibilities from the job description into a blank document.
2. Place a bullet “·” before each key requirement/responsibility.
3. You now have a list of key questions the client/company will ask you on the interview.
4. Now put the list in priority order — here, you must try to think and act as if you are the decision-maker to determine priority.
5. Select the top 5 to 8 skills from the list and write below each one how you have accomplished the requirement/responsibility including the impact/result of your work.
6. You now have the content to build both a great targeted resume and your talking points for the interview.
7. Incorporate your answers into the generic resume and you now have the beginnings of a powerful targeted resume.
8. Delete/remove from your resume facts/details that have no value for the job.
Don’t forget to listen to our weekly radio show Your Career Is Calling – Sunday at 8am (EST).
Best wishes and keep networking alive,
Rod Colón, Career Coach, Professional Speaker & Author
CEO & Director of Career Management
Empowering Today’s Professionals
Running the Business of "ME"
732.367.5580 ( ETP SOLUTION CENTER )
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