Many job seekers begin writing their resume based solely on the job positions and responsibilities that they have held over the years. But professional resume writers know that that information is only a starting point. A resume that wins interviews and jobs is also based on research in these six areas:
- What do you want? “Any job” is not an answer. If it were an answer, you would be equally qualified as an airplane pilot, nuclear physicist and brain surgeon. In reality, we all have preferences for location, industry, level of job, size of company and responsibilities. Your resume should be written for the job you want—and you cannot do that unless you know what you want.
- Where are the pain points in your industry/target companies? Research into your industry and the companies you are targeting will reveal the struggles they are facing today and in the future. Are you able to help them weather those struggles? For example, have you experience in the past increasing sales, introducing efficiencies, getting siloed departments to work together or mentoring staff? Perhaps you are familiar with or an advocate for new technologies and processes. Find out where your skills match the industry or company pain points and make sure your resume emphasizes those skills.
- What do your target companies want? By researching company websites, including the “about us,” you should be able to build up a picture of each company’s culture. Job postings are also a great source of information, even for jobs you are interested in. Does the company prefer loyal team members or in-house entrepreneurs? Do they innovate everywhere or concentrate on improving their current products and services? Are they and their customers diversified or do they focus on a specific niche? The more you know about the company, the better you will be able to assess how you—and your resume—will fit in. You can adjust your resume to better match the company culture, and you will have more intelligent questions to ask at the interview.
- What openings are available? If you are hung up on a specific job title or level, you may miss opportunities that are perfect for someone with your accomplishments, skills and education. Research your industry to find out how jobs are described and which accomplishments and skills are most in demand. Find out if you need more education to qualify or if your skills qualify you for several different types of jobs.
- Whom do you know? Networking is a proven technique for finding and securing jobs. You may network in person or online, but preferably both. Go to industry events; become an online member of LinkedIn groups that your target companies belong to; give your resume to friends and relatives so that they can network among their own connections.
As a professional resume writer, I stress the importance to applicants of knowing what they want, where the pain points are in the industry, what their target companies expect in an applicant, what openings are available and how the resume is used to network. At Robin’s Resumes®, we write resumes in the best interests of our customers—and that includes you.