Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 25th 2017 Contents B5
Tuesday, July 25, 2017 guardian.co.tt
An effective resume is a finely
tuned document that has to pack
a lot of relevant information into
a limited amount of space. It can-
not simply be a recitation of your
work history. This isn't your father's
resume, because that strategy no
longer has traction.
WHY SOMEONE IS HIRED
No one is added to the payroll for the
love of mankind.
They are added to make a contribu-
tion in a particular area and in a
very specific way. When employ-
ers add someone to the payroll,
the job title and its responsibili-
ties have been analyzed, justified,
and budgeted months before that
position opens up. Every job, in its
own small way, is there to help a
department, and in turn a compa-
ny, make a positive contribution
to the end goal of profitability
by delivery of either product or
So, when an employer looks
at your resume it is with a very
specific objective in mind:
Does this resume reflect a per-
son who can help me deliver on
these specific challenges?
From this question, we get em-
ployers conceiving a job in terms
of its deliverable, rather than sole-
ly in terms of education and years
experience required, etc.
Goal: Survive the Resume
For any employer, the resume
screening process is one of the
most mind-numbing steps of
the interview cycle. Typically,
resumes get a first time screen-
ing that spans no more than 30-
45 seconds with the majority of
that time spent on the first page.
Remember that the reader is look-
ing solely for people with specific
experience related to the needs of
a carefully defined position.
PAGE ONE CONNECTS YOU TO
THE JOB'S DELIVERABLES
The first page of your resume
needs to pack a knockout punch,
and the best odds for achieving
that is with a clear focus on a
Only with a clear focus can you
demonstrate your understanding
of a job's deliverables, along with
your experience and achieve-
ments in each of the deliverable
Obviously, a generalized/unfo-
cused resume will not stand out
in the resume screening process.
Most likely, an unfocused resume
will be ignored.
FOCUS YOUR RESUME FOR
SUCCESS IN THREE STEPS
This means that for your re-
sume to be effective, it must be-
gin with a clear focus on -- and
understanding of -- the deliv-
erables for a specific target job.
Only when you have this focus
can you begin to look backwards
into your work history for those
experiences that best position you
for the target job, and enable you
to tailor a killer resume.
1. Research to Understand the
Job and Your Target Market
If you are new to the profes-
sional world, engaged in a career
shift, or just want to be sure that
you are on target, you might want
to execute a little research to en-
sure your resume has the proper
If you want clarification on a
target job, analyze job postings,
like those Indeed.com, currently
the largest job board in the world.
Apply the same analysis to
people who have failed in the job.
What did they do? How and why
did they fail?
This kind of strategic thinking
will give you the focus you need.
Yes, work is involved, but the pay-
off will make the time invested
2. Apply Your Analysis to Your
Experienced professionals have
to be fully conscious that em-
ployers are not looking for Swiss
Army knives. They are looking
for someone with critical "must
have" skills to apply in a specific
Those additional "nice-to-
have" skills are just that, and they
don't need to be in a resume (be-
yond presence in a keyword sec-
tion) because they will take focus
away from your primary thrust.
3. Resist the Instinct to "Gen-
eralize" Your Resume
As the years pass and you gain
more experience, the analysis de-
scribed above becomes increas-
ingly important as a tool to keep
you on track.
The reason for continued ob-
servation and analysis? After
just five years in the profession-
al world, there are usually two or
three jobs you can do; and when
you get fifteen and twenty years
down the road you could have
twice that many professional
Often resumes that attempt to
reflect great breadth of experience
can seem unfocused. And, an un-
focused resume is -- today -- an
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