By now, most job seekers know that every open position requires a specific, targeted resume. This type of resume shows the recruiter or hiring manager that you have taken the time to present to them a resume that speaks to their open position. As nice as a targeted resume is, it can be difficult to get your head around. Where do you start? As a job search coach and resume writer, I suggest that you start with a template resume and then, using that as a guide, create targeted resumes for each position for which you apply. Here are some tips and worksheets to get you started. Create a resume template. This is your general resume and one that you can keep in your car or briefcase. It is the resume that you can handily pull out if someone asks for a copy. You’re lucky if you happen to have your job description to get you started. If not, Google your specific position and take a look at the responsibilities listed for the position and note those that are similar to what you have done. Other sites to research include the Occupational Outlook Handbook or E-How. Continue to review the wording for your position and note those areas that align to your skill set. Look for “technical skills” along with soft skills such as communication, teamwork or problem solving. When creating your resume wording ask yourself some basic journalism questions; who, when, where, how and what were the results of my actions. While all these questions may not be needed for every resume statement, they will help you with your sentence structure and you’ll begin to see your strengths and accomplishments. To go even further, use measurable wording and verbs (created, designed, implemented, wrote, interacted, led, etc.). This worksheet will help you get started.
|My Position Responsibilities/Soft Skills||My Accomplishments That Support These|
Create a tailored resume. A tailored resume shows how your skills are a match to a position’s specific requirements or needs. A good rule of thumb is to remember that their key words = your key words (as long as you are truthful). To align your skills with those key words or responsibilities listed in the open position, create a chart specific to the open position and match your accomplishments to the tasks required of the new position. Again, make sure to include the job specific or technical skills along with any soft skills. It may help you to ask yourself, “So what?” or “Why was this task or project important to my department/organization?” These are key questions and will clarify your thoughts and allow you to identify your accomplishments. They should be asked for each of your resume statements. Did you save time or money? Did you bring in more clients, produce revenue, design a new system, or launch a new product? Make sure to showcase these responses in your resume statements. Your chart may look like this:
|Job –Specific Position Responsibilities||My Accomplishments That Support These|
You most likely will be able to gather position-specific accomplishments for your tailored resume from your resume template. The key to both types of resumes is to make sure that you include measurable accomplishments. Your resume should never, ever read like a job description; make it yours and show the organization what you can do that others cannot. These two steps will help differentiate your resume from the rest. Careful planning and ensuring that your accomplishments are in the forefront will not only help you craft your resume but also help you nail the interview. Guest Blogger Nancy Anderson is a skilled job search coach and resume writer, author of the job search handbook, Job Search for Moms, and owner of Blackbird Learning Associates.