by Leslie Rothman
Resume submission and review has changed dramatically with the wide use of technology as the first step in the hiring process. As a result, the way you craft your resume needs changes as well. When you are asked to complete an on-line application that requires filling in text boxes, your submission is going into a database that will use a search engine to make “best fit matches” with the employer’s position.
To get your resume noticed work on these three things;
- Make your resume customized and relevant to the position you are applying for
- Construct the employment sections with well written and informative content
- Create a positive visual impact
Key places on the resume to customize for a desired position:
Typically we no longer use an objective – especially true if you are looking for work that is similar to what you’ve been doing. A well crafted Professional Summary is the way to go. Containing a few sentences (2-5 lines) it summarizes what you’ve done and highlights what you are known for.
Here’s one approach;
20+ years of progressive leadership positions in product development and manufacturing engineering management in high technology industries. Skilled at complex problem solving, product innovation, high level customer relations, engineering strategy development and selecting and retaining top engineering talent.
Below this add some of your content expertise bullets, making them match the language you see on the posting. Change your expertise bullets as needed for different positions.
- Strategic Planning and Tactical Implementation
- Highly proficient with Viso and Excel
If you are looking for work that is different or a shift from what you’ve been doing, here’s where a well written objective as part of your Qualification section can help direct the document. Look at this example;
Seeking an Admissions position where my abilities to promote and generate enthusiasm for an organization’s mission and make thorough, timely decisions are needed.
The key is to make the statement relevant to the jobs you are looking for, and it can be customized each time. It should highlight what you bring to an employer (not what you want from them, save that until you get an interview!)
Instead of content expertise bullets which you may not have since this is a new direction, highlight 3-5 of your relevant, transferable skills that match the position requirements. For example;
- Relationship builder – demonstrated ability to build rapport and ongoing relationships with people of all ages and backgrounds using excellent listening, questioning and observation skills.
Construct each employment description with well written and informative content
Instead of describing what the company or product does (this is, after all about you!), creating a long list of tasks, or worse copying your job descriptions under each position held, give a brief overview of the position and bullet 2-5 of your accomplishments or successes in the role. Employers are impressed with your specific contributions, the value add you brought to the tasks. For Example:
Marketing Account Executive, ABC Advertising – Manchester, NH 4/09 – 4/12 Developed and implemented a wide range of marketing activities for computer graphic companies nationwide. Point person for existing accounts and in charge of business development in New England territory.
- Through excellent customer service, quality products and timely delivery, increased new customer accounts by 20% while consistently maintaining established client base.
- Note the use of action verbs and the absence of words like “responsible for”.
- When possible, quantify results or use language that gives the scope of your work.
- Don’t forget that you can also customize the accomplishments you choose to highlight, again looking for the ones that you think will be most relevant to the position you are applying for.
- Make sure you match your words to the posting when possible. In the first bullet above, use customer service if the posting contains that language, but change it is to customer care if that’s what you see in the posting. These are sometimes referred to as key words that the search engines pick up.
Visual ImpactUsing these techniques will give your resume a much better chance of being selected from the database or pile. Now your resume may be printed out, or emailed to others and how it looks starts to count. A resume that is not too dense, with white space and a visually appealing format can make a difference. If the resume is visually unappealing and looks hard to read, the reader may pass it over or do a quick scan, and all your hard work in customizing and agonizing over the details will go unnoticed.
If you incorporate these approaches into your resume, you increase your chances of getting your resume noticed. Remember, no one resume fits all; customization and relevant content are the name of the game!
“Get YOUR resume noticed!” is a copyrighted publication of Career & Workplace Directions, LLC and cannot be copied or printed without express permission of Career & Workplace Directions, LLC.