write a targeted resumeYou just got a job alert, and it sounds like a great opportunity. You have a lot of experience from your career. You are excited by the prospect and start thinking “this job is me.”

So, how do you let a potential employer see that you’re the one. When you struggle to decide what should be on your resume, don’t despair and go for a one resume fits all approach.

Often, it feels a bit like Groundhog Day when you need to re-do your resume. But it is good practice to keep it up to date. No job is permanent.

Use the same career insight that led you to want to respond to a job opportunity when you submit your resume. When you take the time to tailor your approach it puts your relevant experience first. Then for the precious brief seconds most hiring managers spend on the initial review of incoming resumes your most relevant experience will instantly recognizable.

No matter what stage of your career, a single resume doesn’t suit all of the career opportunities for which you may have interest.

Creating a second and third version of your resume strengthens your response because it leaves behind everything that doesn’t matter to the job at hand. Your first impression needs to get you past Human Resources and in front of the hiring manager.

Leave extraneous but meaningful items to your LinkedIn page.

Your experience is always yours. You can always draw upon it in interviews and thank you emails.

Here are 10 steps to get a seriously sharp resume:

  1. Save a copy of your full or complete resume. Call it something like “Master Resume” This resume will contain everything and anything as it relates to your career jobs, tasks, key highlight, education, awards, skills, certifications. Consider adding anecdotes of problems solved here too. Then, they will be easy to refresh when you need them for an interview.
  2. Thoroughly review the job description/posting you are interested in. Note keywords, note your experience matches, and think about what makes you feel “Oh, this job is me. I can do this.” Take notes, highlight the items as you do this review.
  3. Review the company’s website (not just the careers page). Note keywords for their mission, their vision, their customer services. Get a feel for the language they use and how they use it so you can respond with their culture in mind.
  4. Now, create a new “Job Description Resume” from your all-inclusive resume based on what you learned from their job description and their website. Re-write your resume for this specific audience, this company.
  5. Rewrite this new “Job Description Resume” using the keywords from the job description to focus your resume for the specific job.
  6. Consider making a short 5-point or so bullet list that includes the most important keywords with your experience to start off your “Job Description Resume.”
  7. Within each position noted on your “Job Description Resume,” rearrange content so that all super-relevant job experience comes first in each position you’ve held.
  8. Remove any unrelated information, after making sure that you have it saved in your “Master Resume.” Don’t hesitate to exclude things that are irrelevant to the job that you are pursuing. Interviews are the time to bring in your full story and show your depth.
  9. Do make sure the first half of the first page addresses everything you want them to know about your qualifications. Don’t be overly concerned about the length of your resume, but don’t think they will read word-for-word all three plus pages.
  10. Finally, think back on why you felt this job was for you and talk about it in the cover letter. You can bring depth to your resume in the cover letter.

After you’ve gone through the process of creating a targeted and responsive resume, you will need to create new versions of your resume with each job title or job description that you want to pursue.

Now that your newly targeted resume is up to date remember to revisit. Even the best loved jobs are temporary. Create a calendar reminder to add any new skill or experience to your Master Resume about once a quarter so you are ready to respond when you find yourself in the applicant pool.

As you follow these steps for each job opportunity you respond to you will create more and more targeted resumes. And, you will have a great resource in your Master Resume where everything you’ve accomplished is documented to be used as needed.

Remember resume evaluation software is seeking keywords and provides the first review of your experience. Your targeted resume strategy must focus on the job description for each potential position.

| Elizabeth Hess

SC Staffing & Consulting
See our Job Openings