Although the days of the resume being the epicentre of the job-search process are slowly going out of fashion, they’re not over yet.
Social media and online presence creation have started to rear their heads more and more, and although this is new and exciting, it’s still important to note that the resume isn’t a thing of the past quite yet. Especially, not in Australia.
Therefore, you must treat your resume quite seriously because it’s the first impression you give a potential employer quite often, and others out there will judge you based upon it.
There are many blog posts out there telling you exactly how to write the perfect resume and each article will tells a slightly different story. Experts give opinions on the perfect font size, the perfect line spacing, the perfect border size and the perfect language to use.
So what I’m going to write about today will help you with your resume, regardless of the above formatting issues, regardless of your background, or your seniority.
My resume philosophy is based on the simple premise that every job by and large, is different. I think a lot of the times you’ll be able to group applications by role type, applying for role types in a similar fashion. However even then, within those role types, different companies look for different attributes. So it’s important to address their idiosyncrasies in your resume.
This is where a “pick and choose resume” of sorts comes in handy. These are the bones of your experience. It’s a document filled with ALL important information, and explains all that your experience is made up of. This document is easily malleable – you can cut bits out that aren’t relevant and add things in if need be.
Your resume’s goal is to get you an interview, so here are ways to align your resume with the role you’re applying for.
Placement On Page Is Everything.
You have 5 seconds to grab the reader’s attention. Make what’s important to them, above the fold in your application.
If the job ad states that they require over 5 years experience in a particular domain, make it clear that you have that (if you do, that is).
If the job says that you need to be qualified with a Bachelor of Business, include that in your personal profile statement.
Don’t make the reader search for information – or they might just not. After all, there are plenty of resumes where yours came from.
Keywords Are A Resume’s Best Friend.
Make sure that for each role you apply for, you use the keywords that are present in the job ad or job description.
These are the words that are front of mind for the recruiter, and if they are scanning your resume, they’ll be looking for those words. If they’re not, then a computer will be looking for those words. So make sure they’re in there.
Use Compatible Language.
If you’re applying for a role with an telecommunications company versus a role with an advertising agency, be aware that although the point you may be trying to get across may remains the same, the language that you will use to engage the reader will be completely different. After all, the culture at both companies is most likely light years apart. So look at the company websites, and get a feel for how they talk.
One of the worst things I would read as a HR Manager was generic personal profile summaries. You know, those few sentences at the top of the first page of a resume. Many of these sound the same, so when I’d read one with personality that was a fit for the company culture, my ears would prick up and my heart started racing from excitement!
You want to be THAT candidate.
Fill In The Gaps. Don’t Leave Anything To The Imagination.
There are many things that people can assume about your application that you may not even have thought about. Best thing to do, is to try and read your resume objectively. See it from a recruiter’s point of view. What would they be concerned about? What are their worries? What about your experience doesn’t quite fit? What could be held against you?
A recruiter’s role is to present the best possible candidate to their client. Put yourself in their shoes. What about your work history that’s on your resume, could be standing in your way?
Could it be that year long gap that you took to travel overseas? If so, address it. It’s better that you do.
Could it be that you don’t have financial services experience? You haven’t worked in a bank? But your main client was a bank? State this because recruiters need to know this. They don’t have time to draw these conclusions for themselves.