Statistics show that around 12.5 million people are currently seeking work in the U.S. While the economy may be partly responsible for job-seeking challenges, you can also blame your resume for keeping you from getting work. For example, one major mistake that job-seekers make is to use the same resume for each place they apply for work. Regardless of the job title or industry, they use a one-size-fits all CV.
However, professional recruiters suggest just the opposite. Always make sure the resume is customized to the job title or sector. The way data is mined today does not allow for resumes that are general in nature.
When you submit such a resume online, you may be causing the document to become electronically invisible. That’s because the resume is not written to match with specific job postings.
Highlight a Job Posting’s Key Words
If you want to get past the electronic gatekeepers, you need to modify your resume so it complements the industry in which you are seeking a job. To make this happen, print out job postings of interest and highlight the keywords. Then, make sure your resume also contains those phrases and words when outlining your skills and experience.
For instance, an accounting position may display such keywords as accounts receivable, spreadsheets, management, payroll, information technology, or supervisor.
Show Off Your Special Skills and Abilities
If you are a newly minted university graduate, highlight the skills you obtained while participating in campus leadership roles, part-time jobs, or internships. Mid-career job seekers, on the other hand, should underscore their value.
Therefore, list those achievements that point to the value that you can bring to a company. Place them beneath your personal details on the resume’s first page (your resume should never be more than two pages long).
Your educational background should be listed near the end of the second page. Include just enough information to pique the employer’s interest – no more.
Remember, most employers will read your resume’s employment history section first to quickly assess your qualifications. Review the descriptions you have written and adjust the accomplishments and duties to pertain to the job opening.
Your employment history normally follows the resume’s title, objective, and qualifications summary – all which should be tailored to specific job openings.
Functional Resumes – How They Are Used
If you are in the later stages of your career, a resume should be geared so it points to specific objectives you want to attain before your reach the age of retirement. Functional resumes are usually the best choice for job seekers in this group who do not possess management experience.
These types of resumes allow a job candidate to find work that does not target a specific industry. The resumes highlight training, skills, and professional designations that do not reveal a chronological order, thus avoiding a reference to age.
Seeking a Professional Job in the Later Years
However, you don’t want to use this kind of resume if you are a late-career job seeker who is a professional in a specific industry. Instead, it is better to use a resume that highlights your skills and background in reverse chronological order, and include a summary section at the end. You can even make the summary a full page.
Regardless of the kind of resume you use, make sure you use specific keywords so you have a strong and resonant voice in the job marketplace.
Make sure that the resume shows why exactly you are applying for a job. If it is written clearly and definitively, it should be immediately apparent why you are submitting your skills and qualifications. The applicants that do are always the ones who receive the first call for an interview.
Why shouldn’t that call be to you?
About the Author
Shaun Enders is a Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Transition Staffing Group located in San Diego. Shaun is extremely passionate about recruiting and developing others to bring out the best version of themselves.