One of the biggest mistakes that people make when searching for a job is sending out a generic and untargeted resume to all the positions they are applying for; if you have been doing this, you need to stop because it simply will not work. In truth, each role is unique and so your resume needs to adapt to put you in the best possible position to get the job. Although this may seem time consuming at first, it will be rewarding so here are a few tips!
Target Your Skills
Computers often sift through the first lot of applicants in order to remove the profiles that do not fit the job description. If you make it through that stage, the first thing a manger will look at is your key skills. If you do not include this section or list generic skills, you are reducing your chances of landing an interview. Make sure you look at the job listing and see what skills they are looking for; then, you can include these in your resume. Don’t just copy it word for word though!
Read The Description
Many people look at the job listing once and then completely forget about it but this can be damaging. Companies actually spend a lot of time perfecting their listing because they don’t want to waste money hiring the wrong person, you have to make the most of it. In a way, their job ad is your free advice because they are telling you what they want to see and hear. It is important to note that you have to review the required skills and experience because if you don’t meet at least half of them, you could be wasting your time.
Furthermore, you can update your contributions to a previous company depending on what the job is looking for. For example, if the job ad said that they want someone to lead the sales team and increase by a certain percentage and you did this in your last job, go ahead and say it. You could add ‘I led a team of twenty and introduced new ideas that resulted in increased sales of 30%’; this will get their attention and make you desirable.
If you are unaware or haven’t been in the market for a job for some time, it has completely changed and simple ‘career objectives’ do not work anymore. Instead, you should include your target position (try and match the role they are offering) and your career summary. Use keywords from the listing and write a brief career summary of what you have achieved so far and what skills you have learned along the way.
As we all know, resumes should be kept within two pages (unless applying for an executive role) which can be tricky but the ‘Work History’ section is one that can be fine-tuned as per the job you are going for. For example, don’t waste your time or their’s discussing something that means nothing to them. Instead, cherrypick the achievements and developments that will apply to them and make them want to hire you!