Is your resume a customized match for the job description?
Have you applied to a number of job openings and not received any responses from the hiring companies? If so, our experience shows that the resume is not conveying a convincing match. You may be truly qualified for the job, but if the hiring manager isn’t getting this from your resume, we need to adjust. Ultimately, the resume is the connection between you and the hiring manager. Your resume needs to convey you are qualified.
There are a number of ways to go about creating your new resume. Most candidates create their resume by listing prior jobs, accomplishments, and then checking for spelling errors. This makes sense because the resume is supposed to show accomplishments and job experience.
Most candidates write their resume by reviewing the below:
- What are my biggest accomplishments?
- Where did I have the biggest impact?
Here at Career Tracker, we encourage candidates to think about creating their resume from a completely different perspective
Read the job description first
We recommend you custom tailor your resume by reading the job description first. It is critical to understand what the hiring manager is looking for. Look beyond position title and focus on the first few bullets within the job description. After we understand what the hiring manager is looking for, then and only then, should we start to create our resume. Using the job description as your map, create your resume with only the accomplishments that answer the bullets listed in the job description. If your bullet points don’t reinforce the job description, we don’t need that accomplishment. Job requirements are usually listed in order of priority, the most important or unique requirements listed first.
Let’s use the position of Account Manager as an example. Candidates who don’t hear back from hiring companies are usually making a similar assumption. “If I was an Account Manager at Company X, then I can be successful as an Account Manager at Company Y.” This may be the case, but hiring managers don’t think this way.
Unicorns and rainbows
All hiring managers feel that their position is the proverbial unicorn. Company culture, management style, customer dynamics, industry differences all make for different requirements between different Account Manager positions. This doesn’t just apply between different companies, but to the same title within a single company.
Most of us create our resume by listing accomplishments from the last few companies (Company X, Y, and Z) we worked. If we were an Account Manager at Company X, Y, and Z, we assume we are qualified for an Account Manager position at Company A. We send in our resume to apply for multiple Account Manager positions at Company A, B, and C. It is not unusual for a candidate to use a single version of their resume for multiple job applications (Company A – M). In some cases, the same resume may be used for 10, 20 or 50 applications. Our decades of experience tell us this is the least effective way to write a resume.
Not all jobs titles are created equal and consequently, a single resume will not resonate with all job descriptions or hiring manager
Have you submitted your resume multiple times and not heard any response? This is most likely because we are not answering a high percentage of the bullets listed in the job description. The single resume approach will probably match a few bullets by chance. The resume that is created by using the job description as a template will answer a much higher percentage of the job description bullet points. The candidate using this method is the one that will receive a call from the hiring manager.
Yes, this translates to a custom resume for every new job application. This may sound intimidating but remember, there is a single job opening and many applicants. We need to match as many bullets in the job description to qualify. Just holding the same title as the position of interest isn’t enough. It usually isn’t even close.
Easier than it sounds
We know it may sound overwhelming to create a new resume for each job application. Don’t worry, it is very simple. Career Tracker’s easy to use technology and cover letter templates make it easy to edit the current version of your resume. We make it even easier to save and track your different versions as you apply to different industries.
In most cases, we aren’t going to re-create the resume from scratch for each job application. More than likely, we are just going to edit two sections. The Professional Summary section and the experience/job history to match the job description. If you held the same title as the position of interest, your resume is probably in the ballpark of the job description. Our goal is to make it a near perfect match to the job description of interest.
Key Takeaway: Matching your qualifications to the job description is more important than listing what you did or are proud of from your work history. Customize your resume to every new job application.
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