Not all resumes are considered equal
The online world has brought a seemingly infinite number of ways to publish your resume. But while posting one resume for multiple jobs might seem like a great way to get your name out, it’s not as good of an idea as you might think. Candidates should post wisely, not widely, and that means tailoring your resume content and approach. While many job seekers recognize the importance of tailoring a resume, most are unsure of how to put it into action. How many changes do you need to make? What keywords or phrases should you focus on?
1. Scripting key resume sections
Updating your resume for each job does not mean you have to make major modifications. It just means you need to make some small adjustments so that it is customized for the job of interest. It is important to first review the company, position and industry. When tailoring your resume to a specific job description, identify keywords and phrases from the job posting. Consider using a website like Wordle.net, which creates a keyword cloud from the most commonly used phrases in the description.
For instance, this is a keyword cloud of an accounts payable clerk job posting from Randstad’s job search website:
You’ll want to include the keywords and phrases -- such as “accounts payable” and “monthly invoices” -- when revising these three key resume areas:
• branding statement
• professional summary
• skill set
2. Branding statement
These days, any resume reader assumes that their job is your objective. A successful resume today replaces the "this is what I want" objective statement with a "this is the value that I offer" branding statement. Package your values, goals and experience in a way that highlights the unique solutions you can offer an employer. Here’s an example of an effective branding statement:
“To grow in a progressive organization as an accounts payable clerk where the blend of my five years’ experience of handling monthly invoices and accounting skills can help in achieving the goals of Company ABC.”
3. Professional summary
The goal of the professional summary section is to develop a dynamic introductory declaration packed with your most sought-after skills, abilities, accomplishments and attributes while showcasing the value you bring to the table. Also, in today’s technological age, many companies have automated systems that search for resumes on job sites based on keywords. Consider adding specific keywords from a listing or job post into your resume to help boost the visibility of your resume.
4. Skill set
Enhance your resume’s effectiveness by demonstrating your skill sets rather than just claiming them. The skill set section allows you to present and expand upon your specific strengths and expertise that are relevant to the job for which you are applying.
5. Start updating!
It may seem overwhelming and a lot of work, but it’s worth it when you consider customizing your resume to your targeted positions will have a major impact on your results! In addition to sending the message that you are a great fit for a position, a tailored resume also helps with Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) that many companies use to compare an applicant's resume to a job posting.
This article first appeared on Randstad USA’s career resources hub.
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