I remember once telling co-workers that I customize each resume for each job. So that meant that 20 applications equaled 20 different resumes. I got the “yeah right, you’re not doing that” LOOK and then I showed them a folder of resumes on my computer. That’s when the eyes grew wide, as if to say, “Why are you doing that.” I explained that during my time conducting interviews, working with recruiters and other hiring managers I learned that one should look at a resume as a tool to get into the two primary interview doors.
The first door is that of the recruiter
A recruiter, most likely, doesn’t have time to go through hundreds of resumes, so they look for keywords and phrases that are listed on the job posting.
Place key words and phrases at the very top of your resume in a format that’s open, clean and grabs attention.
That means that key words/phrases are bolded or a larger size than less important words. It also means that this section of the resume is not cluttered in a long winded paragraph. It’s most likely bulleted with primary words and phrases that have very few words following it. You might even add one or two technical and/or soft skills that you believe apply to the position but are not listed. These are placed in the same section but under the key items taken from the job posting so that they draw slightly less attention.
By doing this you know that the recruiter sees exactly what they’re looking for, thus placing your resume in the “potential candidate” list.
The next door is that of the hiring manager
The hiring manager is looking for a feeling that you are the candidate that solves a need. Yes, you have to actually show your qualifications but competition is fierce and they can only interview a handful of people so you need to make them feel that they need to interview you via your resume. For Tech Pros, resumes can be very logical – filled with an emphasis on degrees, certifications and programming languages – so it can be hard to get a feeling on which candidate will solve their need and fit into their culture. The solution to this challenge is to focus on providing short phrases and stories on how you can solve a problem(s) for the hiring manager and the organization.
In your summary/objective section of your resume speak directly to the employer by directly state how you’ll benefit the manager/company for that particular job posting.
Then in another section, give short story/examples of problems that you’ve solved that are related to that job posting. This ensures that the hiring manager can form a vision of what you are going to be able to do for him/her and the company. They’ll want to see that vision in person and then they’ll invite you in for an interview
Remember, tailor each resume for each job posting – grabbing the recruiter’s attention to quickly provide the information that they’re looking for and then helping the hiring manager visualize you solving their future needs, you’ll have a resume that gets you through the interview doors… which makes you a Tech Professional who’s in high demand.
Photo courtesy of oldwerks.deviantart.com