I am always concerned when a potential client comes to me with an old resume, and I cannot figure out from the resume what job the client is interested in. What I cannot do, an employer definitely will not do; no hiring manager or recruiter is going to try to figure out where a job applicant might fit in their company.
As a job applicant, it is your responsibility to make clear what job you want and that you have the necessary skills, accomplishments, and education. Here are some ways you can do that:
- At the top of your resume, put the title of the position you want. Make sure to mention the title of the position in your cover letter or email also.
- Review your accomplishments in every previous job to emphasize those accomplishments and skills which have the highest value in the job you want. How do you know which accomplishments and skills have value? Read the advertisement or job posting; if they do not explain what the company is looking for, read ads for similar positions.
- Stress your accomplishments that align with the company’s priorities. A good online source for understanding a company’s priorities is their mission statement or annual report. You can also search LinkedIn for current employees of the company and see what qualities they emphasize in their LinkedIn profiles: cost savings, customer satisfaction, regulatory compliance, growth, international teamwork, buy local, and so on.
- Emphasize how you used your skills to benefit your past employers: that is the definition of an accomplishment. Use verbs that make that benefit clear, such as increased, saved, directed, retained, attracted, replaced, led, generated, identified, built.
- While education is usually mentioned at the end of a resume, often it deserves first page placement. Education belongs on page 1 if you are a new graduate or if you have or are working toward credentials that are essential for someone in the job you want (for example, a CPA in a financial industry resume or Project Management Professional certification in a project manager resume).
Robin’s Resumes® helps recruiters and hiring managers immediately understand what a great match a job applicant is for the job on offer. Let us help focus your resume on the job you want. Next week we will discuss “Contact Information on Your Resume.”