By Phil Baker,
You are about to hear me say something that goes against many popular resume writing experts. I have seen many job applicants spend countless hours customizing their entire resumes for every job and employer. They rewrite practically every word in hopes of sparking the employer’s interest. While there is nothing wrong with doing that there is a way you can save tons of time and get interviews.
If you are applying for jobs in various fields create a resume for each field. If you are looking for a teaching position create a teacher resume. If you are a teacher looking for an office manager position, create an office manager resume. Then if you effectively customize your resume objective for each job you should not need to rewrite your entire resume. Only make slight revisions based on the keywords used by each employer.
Your resume objective is an opportunity to announce to employers that you are exactly who they are looking for. Review all the qualifications the employer is seeking in the job posting or job description. Make a list of those qualifications (in a spreadsheet if possible) and prioritize them in order of importance. List the skills, abilities, education, knowledge, and experience that is labeled as required, must have, need, mandatory and so on first. Then next list any skills, abilities, education, knowledge, and experience that is labeled helpful, desired, beneficial and so on. You will include the most pertinent skills in your writing.
To obtain an office manager position where exceptional organizational ability, accounting experience, and team skills will benefit the organization.
You can also incorporate the amount of experience an employer is seeking into your writing. If an employer is seeking 5 years of experience required for the position you are targeting then you can include your experience in your resume objective.
Seeking a need for a talented special education teacher that can apply the benefits of five years of experience.
If you have much more experience, for instance, 15 years of teaching yet do not want to date yourself you can write this:
Seeking a need for a talented special education teacher that can apply the benefits of more than five years of experience.
Your resume objective can be several sentences so you have plenty of opportunities to work in the most relevant qualifications the employer wants to see. If the employer has listed an extra skill labeled helpful for instance, and you see this as an advantage then work that in too. Go through your resume and check to see if you are using the same verbiage for the qualifications. You might need to make some minor modifications so your language is consistent throughout the page or pages. Be careful not to include skills, education, or experience that is not supported further on in your resume.
Resume scanning algorithms search resumes for keywords for qualifications that match what the employer is looking for. Some employers place emphasis on the order and use of these keywords. Certain required skills must appear for a resume to be selected and may score higher based on page placement and repeated use. By customizing your resume objective and integrating matching keywords you can improve your chances of getting chosen by the scanners.
Then your document will land in front of eyeballs where a final decision is made to reject or interview you. Most all people will start at and read the top of your page first. When they spot the qualifications they are seeking, many employers will not read any further. Just like “you had me at hello” you will have them at your resume objective!
You can apply these same principles to a Summary of Skills section in place of a resume objective. Often the choice of one or the other or both comes down to the total experience volume of the particular person and the space available on the page. A Summary of Skills or Professional Skills section can take up more space which might or might not be desirable.
Copyright 2011 by Phil Baker