Taking the time to write a resume that is targeted to your career, a particular position, and the audience that will be reading it, might slow down the process a bit, but in the long run could potentially increase the possibility of getting an interview. If you’re like most people, you’ve created one generic resume template and simply change the Job Objective at the top for each position you’re applying for or you have a generic objective that you think is working in all scenarios. Odds are, however, that your resume isn’t even making it past the Human Resources Department.
For a resume to have the maximum impact, it has to be targeted specifically to your career, the position you’re applying for and the audience that will actually be reading it. To create such a resume, however, it’s imperative that you have direction. A clear idea of where you are and where you want to be. Before you even sit down to begin formulating the ideas for your resume, you need to ask yourself what your final goal is.
Your resume should not be written the same way if you’re seeking a promotion, as it would be if you were considering a lateral move. A resume for someone looking to stay in his or her present industry would be completely different than one written for someone who is looking for a career transition.
Once you know what the goal of your job search and your resume is going to be, you need to consider the position you’re interested in. There are two ways that you can approach your job hunting. If you happen to be in an industry that offers a lot of job postings, you may simply want to take the easy way out and fax blast a resume to everyone, hoping that you’ll get lucky.
If you have limited opportunities, however, you need to create a resume for each and every position you’re applying for. The most effective way to do this is to use the original job posting. Jot down the qualifications that the companies placing the ads are requiring and use them verbatim when creating your resume and cover letter.
It’s important that you use the exact terms and wording that was used in the ad. Every match will serve as a keyword in your resume, the closer your resume matches the job description and/or qualifications, the more likely you are to get an interview. In some cases, large companies are actually using scanners that require a particular number of hits on these keywords before a manager will actually even look at an applicant’s resume. Keywords should include jargon or acronyms that are specific to your industry.
The final step is in creating a cover letter that targets the audience that will be reading the resume. For more information on how to create a cover letter, see the article titled 5 Steps to a Great Cover Letter.