Give The Employer What They Want
The number one goal of a resume is to get you invited for an interview. In order to make this happen, your resume needs to make you look like a great fit for the job being offered. A resume is more than a report card or simply a description of what you’ve done. Think of your resume more as a marketing piece where you are selling yourself as a valuable asset to the company posting the job. Before you write one word, this approach will have you asking yourself, “What is it that an employer is looking for in an ideal candidate for this position?” Where you will find the answer to this question will be in the qualifications posted for the job in which you are interested. So, the first step in preparing to write your resume is to carefully consider what you want to say. The most important thing to make sure you say is how you fit the qualifications for the job for which you are applying. The following ideas will help you begin to put your thoughts together.
Matching the Qualifications for a Job
Most job postings will list some qualifications for the job that’s being offered. Usually that will include some amount of experience in that type of work. Many jobs require that you have done the same or similar work elsewhere and that you already know the job, the tools, the technology, and the information necessary to get the job done right away and with little or no training. Some companies only require someone who knows something about the work, has related or transferable skills, some useful knowledge and has shown a good aptitude for learning plus a strong work history. All of this guides you in preparing your resume to make sure that you communicate how your experience has prepared and qualifies you to do the job for which you are applying.
The other qualification often mentioned in job postings is an educational background in the work or field. That may mean that you have graduated high school or possess a college degree. An educational background may also mean that you have some relevant vocational or “on-the-job” training. You may have taken classes or training in the field for which you are applying. Think of the classes, courses, workshops, books, training, and lessons you have taken worth mentioning to impress the perspective employer with what you know. It will be especially important to mention any certificates you have earned, any licenses, or any specific tools or technologies that you have trained on that has prepared you or qualifies you to do the job.
While preparing to write your resume, list the words that are used in describing the qualifications listed for the job you want. Use those very words as best as you can in describing your own experience. These will likely be the “key words” that the initial screener will look for in determining which resumes get a closer look. The better your resume can match your experience, your education, and your other qualifying factors with the key words that are listed as job qualifications, the more closely your resume will be considered.
The Other Important Qualifications
There are other qualifying factors that may or may not be included in a job posting. There are several qualities that any employer is looking for in a good candidate. Qualities such as reliability, a proven work history, the ability to work with others, and your overall character are important to demonstrate on your resume. Even if these are not listed as a job requirement, you want to make sure your resume says there is a lot about you qualifying you as a potential employee. A strong showing of these other qualifying factors will make you appear as an excellent applicant.
Proven Success At Work
An employer wants to know that you are a great employee and that you have had success on your past jobs. Success will look like accomplishments and recognition you have achieved along the way. Accomplishments may include promotions you’ve received, levels of responsibilities you have been given, special projects or performance goals for which you’ve been recognized. You will want to make sure you mention these accomplishments in ways that anyone reading your resume would be impressed. You may also want to mention any “outstanding” or “excellent” evaluations you may have received while on a job. You want to communicate that in the past, your work has been so good that others recognized you. This would qualify you as the kind of person that any company would want to consider hiring.
Adaptability And The Willingness To Get Along With Others
Most jobs will require you to work as part of a team or at least with other people. Most jobs also require that each employee is willing to do what’s asked of them and that you are adaptable and flexible. This may include the kind of work you may be asked to do as well as the hours you may be asked to work. They may want you to be willing to learn or be trained in new areas. They may want you to be able to travel or even to relocate. You want to use your resume to make it clear what you are willing and able to do in terms of getting along with all kinds of people as well as your willingness to do what the company wants from an employee they will want to hire.
A Great Character
Job postings will generally not ask that a candidate be a great person and have a strong character, but you can assume that any employer wants employees who are dependable. You may know that you are a good employee and that you’re honest and can be trusted, but the future employer won’t know unless you tell them. Employers want to know that you will show up and that your attendance and punctuality have been shown to be outstanding. They want to know that you are mature in your approach to work, that you have a strong work ethic. This means that you value your work, you respect the company, and that you are reliable, dependable and responsible when it comes to work. Be sure, in writing your resume, that you impress upon the future employer that you bring a strong character to your job. Think of the four or five things that describe your strengths of character that you bring to a job. This is what you want the employer to know about you; make sure they are mentioned in your resume.
Employers want to know that you will stay on the job and that you and the job are a good fit for each other. They want to be sure that the time and cost of training and developing you will be a good investment. It will be wise to mention both in your resume and your cover letter how this position fits for you, your background and interest in this kind of work and that your plans are to have, hold on to and succeed on this job.
Providing a resume that gives the employer an impression that you are right for the job will generally require you to customize every resume you submit. Resume writing is an ongoing process. Rather than having one resume to hand around to all employers you are interested in working for, think of preparing a customized resume for each and every job to which you apply. Always keep a copy of every resume you craft. You will get better with every attempt and you will have a lot of parts to piece together for every opportunity you pursue. Good luck and make yourself look like you were made for that job! Δ