Have you noticed job seekers come in many forms? For example, some are high performers trying to advance to a higher level position where their talents can be better applied. Some have fallen out of fit with their current environment and need a change. Some are at odds with a bad leader and can’t escape soon enough. Some have been forced into unexpected job search after a layoff, and they feel as though they’ve been completely derailed. And some have been out of work for a long period of time and just need a job – any job – in order to pay the bills.
Despite this wide variety, they all have something in common. The very first thing they all do once they’ve decided to begin their search for the next opportunity is dust off their old résumé and add a line to their work history, or find a résumé template on the internet and fill in the blanks.
And they’re ALL wrong.
If you want to chop down a tree, an axe is a pretty good tool for the job. If the blade is dull, however, you will waste a lot of time and energy swinging at the tree with terrible results.The tree may never fall, and you will become frustrated and exhausted. If only you had first taken time to think things through strategically, you would have sharpened the axe before starting the job. You may even have upgraded to a chainsaw.
In much the same way, your résumé is the main tool used to apply for job; however, simply sending out your dull, generic list of skills, credentials, duties and responsibilities will lead to frustration and exhaustion. It needs sharpening, if not a complete upgrade in order to have any chance of progressing through today’s recruiting system ahead of your competitors.
Lucky for you, a lot of job seekers don’t yet know the secrets to creating such a résumé – a résumé that will help you beat the modern system and improve your chances at getting the phone to ring more with invitations to interviews.
Here’s your first tip. Writing your résumé is NOT step one.
Sure, in the old days, you could send out your generic résumé by the dozens and an employer or two would eventually bite. That’s because recruiting wasn’t automated. Real people actually read the documents you sent, and they had something computerized applicant tracking software doesn’t have: discretion. They also had more time and resources to devote to their decision making, so inference of your generic résumé information was possible and could more easily lead to an interview invitation.
Gone are those days.
Now you, as a job seeker, first need to decide what you want to do, and for which ideal employers. If you have trouble deciding, you probably need to take a step back and do some self assessment. “I’ll take any job” will get you nowhere.
Once you’ve made your decision, you need to create your résumé in a way that takes all the work out of seeing you as a clear fit for your target role.
SPELL IT OUT.
As well, you need to think strategically about each piece of information you put into the document so it stands a chance of survival in the computerized applicant tracking systems and captivates your eventual human audience.
Indeed, this approach to your résumé requires an investment of time as you create something customized for EVERY application you make, but the return on investment will be worth it.
Do yourself a favour and sharpen your axe.
Better yet, upgrade to a chainsaw. I’ll walk you through it step by step in my online course, Simple Résumé Writing Strategies to Get More Interviews.
It gets 90-100% satisfaction ratings in classrooms and has some great reviews online.
Job seekers like it.