Writing an effective resume can be a nerve racking experience. Moreover, it is truly disappointing, when after spending all that time and effort, in return, we are faced with very marginal results. What if there was a way to increase our odds for getting noticed by a prospective employer? What if our resume was fully capitalizing on each and every job opportunity we come across? That would definitely make the process of resume writing more of a science and less of an art.
The most popular advice is to completely rewrite our resume for each and every job we are applying for. It’s a great suggestion but how do we do it effectively without spending the whole weekend re-inventing ourselves time and time again?
So, let’s dive in to it. It’s a proven fact that the most important real-estate on our resume is the top 1/3 of the first page. This is where the first and very important impressions are being formed by the reader. It’s here where we need to express our relevancy and make our phone ring. We don’t stand a chance if within the first 10 seconds of reading our resume, we did not succeed in creating a solid reason for the hiring manager to keep reading on.
Here is what I suggest. In order to fully engage the decision maker, my advice is that under the top located header, with our name and contact details, to include a “Profile” section with just two paragraphs. The first paragraph will be devoted to a short overview of our capabilities and personal attributes and does not change from resume to resume. The second paragraph, within the Profile section, will be dedicated to showing our compatibility with a specific job we are applying for. It’s the only piece of content we would need to customize from resume to resume.
Prior to developing this piece of opportunity-to-background compatibility pitch, we need to fully dissect the job opening, and as relevant, using key words and key phrases from the job description, construct the second part of the Profile section, describing why we are the one, making ourselves a perfect fit. As if this job posting was written with us in mind.
A note of caution: the secret souse for being able to develop this content is making sure we are in a positive and energetic mood when performing this task. Inferior states of mind such as when feeling tired, nervous or stressed, will drastically limit our creativity and resourcefulness to express in words our true value, and therefore, seriously compromise our chances of getting a call for an interview. If we feel any signs of mental tension, let’s close our laptop, do something uplifting (go for a walk, run, call a sibling or a friend), and only then, proceed.
Using this approach of resume writing, our customization is at its best and reduced to a minimum, to where it counts the most, in the land of first impressions. Best of luck and please keep me posted with your progress.