En Route: A Career Blog

Improve Your Resume by Streamlining and Targeting It

AUTHOR: Darlene Zambruski
CATEGORY:
POSTED: February 7, 2013 at 8:41 am

 

If you’re one of the millions of viewers who’ve watched the A&E show Hoarders, you know what happens when individuals are reluctant to give up anything and simply compile stuff until it overwhelms their lives.

Information hoarding is no different and it will seriously dilute the effectiveness of your resume if you insist on listing everything you’ve ever done and believe that targeting a job, company, industry or career goal is something other people do.

jobtarget

(Photo: JobTarget.com)

Get Rid of the Clutter

A resume is not an autobiography. I recall the beginning of Dickens’ novel David Copperfield. It states simply I am born. What follows is quite lengthy and details just about everything in Copperfield’s life. In this fast-paced world, nothing could be more boring for the average reader. The same holds true for a resume. Don’t go back to Year One of your employment, unless what you did in that job is relevant to your new career goal. Failure to heed this advice will invite age discrimination if you’re older. Even if you’re young, no one wants to read about your time working at McDonald’s behind the counter when  you’re now a financial analyst.

Know What You’re Seeking in a Job

Don’t make the mistake of writing one resume, then sending it to 20 different jobs in 20 different industries. The modern job search doesn’t work that way. You have to target each resume for each job goal.

I recently read an interesting article at Interns Over 40. The piece titled “What Can You Do to Keep Your Resume Out of the B Pile?” focuses on why some job seekers are called in for interviews while others never seem to have the same luck.

Some key points from the post are:

  • Don’t bother to apply for jobs in which you have no expertise or experience. The post’s author suggests that you should only apply if you can meet 85% or more of the position requirements.
  • Use key words from the job posting in your resume. In other words, dovetail your skills, knowledge, expertise to what the employer is looking for in a candidate.
  • Your opening summary should state clearly what your area of expertise is. Don’t make a hiring manager guess – most won’t – they’ll simply toss your resume.
  • Focus on accomplishments, not tasks. Results are what matter to hiring managers and recruiters. Remember, you’re going to be competing with dozens, perhaps hundreds, of other equally-qualified candidates. What makes you stand out? If you don’t know, the employer surely won’t.

Don’t Forget to Network

The article also states that you should seek introductions to hiring managers via colleagues. With social media such as LinkedIn, Facebook and even Twitter, your network should be growing larger each day. Put yourself out there. Make yourself noticeable and memorable as a professional the company needs.

Follow Up is Also Important

If you don’t get what you want on the first try, don’t become invisible again. Follow through with hiring managers and recruiters by contacting them periodically. Don’t be a pest. However, let them know about new skills, another degree, whatever it is that makes you an invaluable employee.

ResumeEdge has helped tens of thousands of job seekers reach their career goals in 40+ industries. Our certified writers have real-world experience in their client’s fields. In addition to resume writing, we also offer resume editing, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles and interview coaching through our JobInterviewEdge service.

 

Darlene Z.

Darlene Zambruski is a resume writing expert and CPRW (Certified Professional Resume Writer) with more than 13 years of industry experience. She has authored 10,000+ resumes in every industry and at every career level.

» Read Full Bio

Sign Up for the En Route Newsletter

Career articles, resume advice, and interview tips delivered every month!

Propel Your Career

Get to the next level faster with professional Resume Writing or Editing products.

My writer took the time to give me practical tips on resumes and what prospective employers look for. She explained her suggestions and allowed me to give feedback as well. Her approach to resume writing is fantastic.

— Anna G.
Information Technology
» See All Testimonials

We're Busy Little Bees

354
Resumes Written This Month
100,000
Resumes Written Since 1998