Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 24th 2014 Contents B19
Tuesday, June 24, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Ninty-five per cent of resumes today never get
read, and the reason is surprising: it s because they
are honest recitations of everything the resume
writer has done and thinks important. Let s look
at why this doesn t work.
The resume database - a.k.a. the "Black Hole"
Resumes today rarely go straight to a recruiter s
desk; typically they go into a resume database.
Now, because no one ever reads resumes for the
fun of it, before anyone actually reads yours, it
must first be pulled from that database by a
recruiter who is focused on filling a specific job
opening and who is naturally doing so with the
priorities and language of that job description
firmly in mind.
So you can see that, if your resume is a gumbo
of everything you ve ever done and of everything
that you happen to think is important (without
reference to what your customers are actually buy-
ing), it is never going to work.
Understand your customer
The first lessons a professional learns in any job
are that, "the customer comes first," and "understand
your customer s needs and sell to them."
We all know this, yet when it comes to creating
the most financially valuable document we ll ever
own, this most basic of professional lessons flies
right out the window.
In the same way that corporations tailor products
to appeal to their customers needs, you need to
create a resume tailored to your customers needs.
A resume works best when it tells a compelling
story that matches your skills and experiences to the
responsibilities and deliverables of a specific target
job. This means your resume must focus on how
employers---your customers---think about, prioritize,
and describe the job s deliverables.
A resume focused on a specific target job, and built
from the ground up with the customer s needs for
that job in mind, will perform better in resume data-
base searches, and will resonate far more effectively
with recruiters, whose eyes are already glazed from
the tedium of reading resumes.
It's all about credentials, not potential
When you are changing jobs, you will invariably
be hired for a job that you can already do, a job for
which you have the credentials.
Writing a resume that targets a job you d like to
do, but for which you don t have the experience/cre-
dentials, will put you up against other candidates
who all have the experience and the credentials for
that job, and this reduces your chances to the neg-
Jobs you pursue because of your potential are
usually landed within the context of a job you already
have and a company where you are a known quan-
How to decide on a target job title
With just a few years experience in the professional
world, most people reach a point where they have
experience that qualifies them for more than one
job.Right now, there are probably two or more jobs
you can do, but with the way recruitment works
today, you have no choice but to go with a resume
that focuses on a single target job.
So your first task is to look at all the jobs you can
do (they are all probably closely related in many ways)
and choose which one will give you the best chance
of reaching your goal.
You can make this decision on many unique criteria,
but assuming your main goal is to get back to work,
or out of the hellhole you work in today, your best
bet is to go with the job you can nail.
This is the job that you can make the most con-
vincing case for on paper, the strongest argument
for in person, and the job where, when you hit the
ground running, you won t trip over your shoelaces.
Once you ve decided, build your primary resume
around this target job, the one that offers the greatest
odds of success.
Resumes for those other jobs you can do
Those other jobs you can do? The layout and much
of the data from your prime resume will remain the
same: all you ll need to do to create these additional
resumes is understand how employers define them
and then, replacing the Target Job Title, edit each
new resume version to reflect your credentials for
this specific option.
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