Looking for a new job is a time-consuming endeavor, which is why people say that a search is like a full-time job itself. You have to research companies, uncover openings, draft cover letters, follow up, network, and more. In an effort to save time, many job seekers look for shortcuts, but cutting corners actually reduces your chances of getting a call for an interview.
Once you’ve got your resume to “perfect” status, it’s simple to just attach it to every application. But sending a one-size-fits-all resume will hurt you in the long run. Every hiring manager is looking for unique skills, experiences and traits and if you don’t address those specifics, you aren’t positioning yourself as the ideal candidates, nor will you make it past applicant tracking software.
“The more experience you have then the easier it will be to have more than one version of your resume. For example, if your talents are sales, re-engineering workflows, and specific expertise with enterprise finance applications then you can brand yourself with an extra resume that groups like skills together for the recruiter who is pursuing the resume in 1 second or less. They need compelling reason to stop and add your resume to the group requiring further review. Having a second resume that shows chronological work history, promotions easily viewed and a real emphasis on accomplishments will also be a game changer for the recruiter. You should determine the best resume based on the company and the position!” says Sharon Tsao, EVP Sales & Marketing, Contemporary Staffing Solutions.
Fortunately, you don’t have to sit down and draft a new resume every time you apply for a position. There are certain aspects of your resume that won’t change from application to application, but you should customize certain aspects of your document before you click “send.”
Customize Your Skills
Study the list of skills for each job you apply to. You want to be certain that your resume includes the vast majority of the skills listed there, and those skills should be worded as you see them in the job posting. Don’t exaggerate or lie, however. If you don’t possess a specific skill, leave it off your resume. But don’t fret – hiring managers know that not every qualified candidate will have every single skill they are looking for.
Adapt Your Work History and Call Out your Accomplishments
Similar to your skills section, you want your work history to paint a picture that you are the ideal candidate for the job. Accomplishments are critical differentiators and these are very different from a job description. Make sure to connect the dots and showcase transferable skills/accomplishments, especially if you switched industries at some point in your career. For example, you may have started off as a retail manager but you now work in marketing. In that management position, you likely saw what types of promotions, offers and signage spoke to customers and that likely informs the choices you make today. You also probably learned time management, people management and the ability to achieve goals under tight deadlines and constraints – all skills that easily transfer.
Align Your Values
If you have hobbies, work experience or volunteer experience that shapes who you are as a professional or that helped you develop important skills, include them in your resume. This is especially important if that additional experience aligns with your target company’s core values. Core values at Contemporary Staffing include respect, team oriented, coachable, winning spirit, integrity and fun. One relevant example; if the organization focuses intently on corporate social responsibility, experience working a volunteer in the community shows that you value giving back, as well.
Crafting more than one resume is time-consuming, but it is well worth the effort. The job market is competitive and you must take every opportunity to stand out and differentiate yourself from other applicants if you hope to land an interview.
If you are seeking out new opportunities to grow your career, contact the recruiting team at Contemporary Staffing Solutions today. We are committed to the success of our talent network, and we can help connect you with a position that will help you achieve your career goals.