Dress (Your Resume) for the Job You Want!

A loud and embellished outfit, on a man or a woman, can give off the wrong impression in an interview – you’re seeking attention, you’re vain, you’re overcompensating, you’re distracting. However, an understated, professional clothing choice, on any candidate, sends the best possible message: You have pride, you’re responsible, you’re dedicated, and you came here to do work. Your resume is no different.

Resume embellishments are easy to spot, especially by eagle eye recruiters & hiring managers who have seen thousands of buzzy resume words and gaudy fonts. What stops resume readers in their tracks is something more subtle – a resume that suits the position they are recruiting for.

What’s wrong with my resume?

Essentially, nothing. You don’t need to rewrite your resume in its entirety to make slight improvements. Though well crafted, most people’s resumes are too generic to stand out in a job economy where recruiters sift through hundreds or – in some cases – thousands for one role. Common issues are these:

  1. The vocabulary in the resume doesn’t match what is in the posting.
    In business, one essential premise or concept can be worded fifty ways. It’s not wrong for you to refer to yourself as a “cross-categorical team lead” instead of an “inter-department manager,” but discrepancies such as these can be confusing. By reworking the skills and experiences in your resume to more closely match the verbiage given in the job posting, you can avoid disconnect and be sure the hiring manager notices your most relevant skills or proficiencies.
  2. Every job from babysitting as a teen on forward is listed, unnecessarily.
    You’re thorough, and that’s an excellent trait. However, it is important to remember that your resume is serving a specific purpose. Your resume’s purpose is not to inform potential interviewers of everything you have done in your working life. The purpose is to prove, through relevant experience and education, that you’re qualified for the job at hand.
  3. Skills of all sorts are listed, some of which are misleading or irrelevant.
    Same as above, be as informative as possible rather than as comprehensive as possible. Sometimes a laundry list of every possible skill from fixing the copier to running a Fortune 500 company can seem as though your resume has been stuffed, rather than trimmed for effectiveness.
  4. The resume summary expresses an interest in any applicable position.
    This is flat-out evidence your resume is generic. Though there’s no rule against a one-size-fits-all resume, you could easily be sifted out among competitors who are tailoring their resumes.

How do I tailor my resume?

  • Read the posting carefully and understand it. Think of the posting as the question “Who can do this job?” and your resume answering “I can do that job.”
  • Reword your resume to more closely suit the needs of the posting. If the posting is looking for a “bona fide grassroots customer service aficionado with a heart of gold,” you may want to tone it down in your resume, but failure to mention customer service is a missed opportunity. If you don’t have customer service experience, however, leave it off.
  • Trim the fat. If an ages-old job or a lately unpracticed skill is relevant to the position, keep it. If you were a camp counselor in 1994, let it rest.
  • Swap your objective statement for a statement of offering. If you have a blurb at the top of your resume titled “Objective” that rattles off what THEY can do for YOU, delete it now. This is old hat. Today’s hiring managers are looking for fit. Mentioning what you’re after should be done in a way that outlines your Try an elevator pitch with a twist like “Seasoned customer service professional seeking a modern tech company where I can provide training and mentorship to a global team.”

There are no right or wrong answers when it comes to resume inclusion, but the important thing to note is it is your first impression as a job seeker. By tailoring your resume to the job you want, you are allowing the job you want to find YOU while outshining the competition along the way.

For more job seeker resources, contact Malone Workforce Solutions, the premier staffing agency connecting top talent to excellent job opportunities.

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