Is every job description you read the same? No.
Is every job you submit your resume to the same? Of course they aren’t.
If all these job descriptions are different, why do you submit the same resume?
Every day, people send the same generic resume out as though each position was identical and each employer was attempting to hire identical skills and attributes. Too often, the results they receive are like the broken watch that is right twice a day—hit or miss success.
They list their name, address, phone numbers and email address, list an objective, education, and chronology of experience with dates of employment. The resume includes some successes or accomplishments. This is their resume.
In the days prior to computers when changing a resume required you to re-type different versions, this made sense. Today, when computers allow you to customize, spell and grammar check documents so easily, you are missing out on opportunities and costing yourself money by being lazy and not tailoring your resume for each opportunity you are interested in.
Here are several steps that you can do to improve your resume and get better results.
1. Each employer will be interested in different attributes of your experience. They often indicate it by the items they describe in their job ad. Emphasize the experiences that you have that relate to the skills being sought and the functions you will perform in the job they will ask you to perform. If you are applying for a staff position, emphasize your staff experience and minimize your management experience. If you are being hired to be a leader, write about your recent leadership.
2. Employers are more interested in recent work, rather than work you did many years ago. Use more space in your resume to highlight recent experience, rather than things you did before George W. Bush became President.
3. Like setting a goal where you make them specific, measurable, achievable within a specific period of time, describe your successes or achievements concretely. Reducing costs is a nice start but it is more powerful to describe something as reducing operational costs globally by 2%. Increased departmental sales by 27% resulting in . . . You get the idea. Use action verbs wherever possible (For more on this, read my article, Preparing an Effective Resume” on www.newyorkmetrotechnologyjobs.com).
4. Ask someone you trust to critique what you’ve written. Too often, people believe that they can do everything by themselves without asking for help. Ask a friend in your industry to critique what you’ve written to insure you’re on target and aren’t missing the mark.
When you go to a restaurant and order a meal, you have the expectation that it will be prepared in a way that will please you and be presented on the plate beautifully. Writing a great resume requires that you be the chef and prepare a meal that is both visually appealing and tastes great too!