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In Creating an Effective Resume, author Mariann Siegert provides step-by-step guidance on creating resumes that highlight accomplishments and specifically target a potential employer's needs. The course covers how to build a resume that encompasses action statements, keywords, styling, and effective content, while addressing common stumbling blocks such as handling employment gaps and career changes. Framing the resume as a vital component of a personalized marketing campaign, Mariann shows how to conduct employer research and utilize keyword optimization techniques to increase a resume's potential of being found by employers and recruiters on resume banks and job sites. Also included are tips on writing cover letters and thank-you notes. Exercise files accompany the course.
One of the biggest mistakes people make when they are job hunting is sending out the same generic one-size-fits-all resume to each and every potential employer. The problem with using this method is threefold. One, every company has different needs. Two, every position requires different skillsets to do that particular job. And three, you have different skillsets, knowledge, and experience that will match those different needs. Targeted resume showcase and match the skills and experience that you have that is needed by each individual employer.
When people use a one-size-fits-all resume, they force the prospective employer to search through their resume, trying to figure out which of their skills they may be able to use. You could call it hide-and- seek for busy professionals. Employers are looking for very specific things. They spell out what they are looking for in the job description. Since employers are looking for very specific things, your resume cannot be vague. It must be targeted to match the employer's needs.
Every resume you send out should be customized and tailored to meet the needs of each prospective employer. Items on your resume that are unrelated or irrelevant to the targeted position should be downplayed or removed. Related accomplishments and achievements should be highlighted, as should your transferable skills, throughout each and every position you've held. Targeting your resume for each desired position allows you to emphasize how you are the perfect match for that particular job.
Here's an easy way I found of specifically targeting a particular position and employer's needs. First, go to a resume bank and then type in your search requirements. Let's say that I am a technical trainer, and I am looking for a position in Grand Junction, Colorado. There it is, and I am going to click on Search. And here's a technical trainer job that I am interested in, so I am going to click on it.
Now what I am going to do is I am going to find the job duties and responsibilities for this particular position. Then I am going to copy and paste it into Word, or any other word processor for that matter. Now what I want to do is I want to create a table for my job description. So I am just going to simply select it, I am going to go to the Insert menu, click on Table, and then select Convert Text to Table. The Number of columns is 1.
That's fine. Click on OK. There's our table. Now, what I want to do is I want to create a column to the right, so I can write down what my transferable skills are. So I am going to go up to Layout and click on Layout and click on Insert Right, because I want to insert columns to the right. And there we go. Now I also want to include a header, so I am going to select the first row by holding my mouse out here to the left of this column and clicking.
That selects the entire row. I am going to go back up here to the toolbar and click on Insert Above. Now the next thing that I want to do is I want to set the Style for this table to Normal to make sure that I've gotten rid of anything that we've copied over from the Internet. So when you're holding your mouse over the table, you'll see a little box with a cross in it, with some arrows, and if you click, it'll select your whole table. To set the style back to Normal, we're going to go to the Home tab, and then we're going to click on the little down arrow here underneath of Change Styles.
When you click on it, you'll see your Styles pane appear. With the table selected, we're going to click on Normal, and that should set it back to your Normal style. Now I am going to add a header that says Essential Functions and Transferable Skills. Now I am ready to start typing in my transferable skills. When it's completed, you can change it around to look like this.
Using this format will help in several ways. It will get you to thinking about what your transferable skills are, and matching them to the employer's needs. It'll help you focus and concentrate on what the needs of the employer actually are. It'll give you an easy format for finding potent keywords to include in your resume. It will assist you in selling your true worth during the interview. Speaking of interviewing, when you get to that stage, copy your table into another document, such as the one the we're looking at of its own, and format to match your resume with the same heading style.
Now, make sure that the heading style of your resume, your cover letter, your references, and your transferable skills all match. Your table of transferable skills can be part of the package you hand out to the interview panel or hiring manager. It will show you're thinking ahead of the game and value their time by not making them try to play hide-and-seek or match-the-skill. Once you have your chart in hand, you can begin incorporating these skills throughout your resume, add your keywords, update your headline, your qualification summary, your professional experience, and all of the sections throughout with your matching skills.
Don't simply repeat phrases found in the job description; use your own words to describe your matching skills. Remember, your goal is to match as many of the needs of the employer as you can with your own background. Another thing to keep in mind when creating a targeted resume from your original resume is to be sure you don't save over your targeted resume. Keep the original resume intact and use it as a template for your targets. Also, you can use the main resume as the version you will upload to resume banks.
Another important thing to keep in mind when targeting your resume for each position is organization. Keep a copy of each version of your resume that you need to send to each company. This is very important for tracking and recordkeeping. Once you get to the interview, you should bring several copies of the targeted resume with you, so you want to be sure not to overwrite. Once you have your target in sight, it's time to hit the bull's eye. Hit the center of the target by matching your skills to the employer's needs.
The more closely you match yourself to the position, the more likely it will be that you'll be invited to an interview. Just be sure not to simply repeat phrases found in the job description. Your goal is to prove your transferable skills are a match for that position at hand. If you succeed in showing hard proof to the potential employer and submit the evidence that you are the perfect fit, you will hit your target right on the mark and land the perfect job.
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