How to Target your Resume to the Job You Want
by Jennifer Anthony
Determine what you are trying to accomplish.
Make sure you have a clear goal in mind before you write your resume. Hiring managers are too busy to try to figure out what you want to accomplish.
Writing a general, one-size-fits-all resume will not cut it in today’s competitive job market. You have to make an effort to stand apart from everyone else.
If you don’t know what you want to do, STOP and figure it out. You cannot create an awesome, knock-your-socks-off resume without a goal. If you are struggling with this, enlist the help of someone to brainstorm with you. You may benefit from a career coach at this point.
Find out the industry keywords that are hot in your career field and put them into your resume.
Why do this? Because more and more companies are using automated databases to store resumes. When they need to hire someone, they find potential candidates by utilizing keyword phrases (sort of how you search on Google using a keyword). If you are using the right keywords, your resume will be included in the top contenders.
You can find the keyword phrases by searching indeed.com for the type of job you want to apply to. Read several postings from all regions of the country and look for the qualifications and duties in the job announcement.
For instance, I looked up “executive assistant” and found the following phrases that seemed to be repeating:
- Microsoft Office proficient
- Setting appointments
- Travel arrangements
- Correspondence, presentations, and reports
- Prepare/edit executive PowerPoint presentations
- Arranging travel, scheduling meetings
- Prepare high quality presentations and reports
- Proficient to expert level of ability in the MS Office suite
As you can see, there is emphasis on the MS Office programs, scheduling, and presentations. Consequently, if you are targeting an executive assistant position, you MUST include those words in your resume.
Always include a cover letter detailing the exact position you are applying for, where you saw the job listing, and why you are interested.
Doing this will make it clear to the hiring manager what you have to offer and what you are seeking. It will also make you stand out from all of the other job seekers that are sending generic cover letters (or not sending one at all).