SAGE ADVICE FOR RESUMES, INTERVIEWING, AND MORE!
- By bruce w clagg
Do I Need to ‘Tailor’ My Resume for Different Opportunities?
Good question! (Of course, I just asked it – LOL!) Having written thousands of resumes for clients at all levels and virtually all industries, there are some definite ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts!’
First, think of three job titles that you would like to have next. Would YOU hire you for those positions based upon your education, skills, and experience? You might have one, or two drop out at that moment. Be realistic, but never feel like you’re caught in a career trap. Let’s say your answer is “yes” to all three! Now, prioritize the three and let’s go after Number One! It’s no longer a ‘job,’ or J.O.B. (Just Over Broke; Just Over Boredom; Just Outta Bounds). It’s a ‘CAREER POSITION!’ Something you would really enjoy. Something that pays well with a real future and with a company that has a ‘culture’ you could embrace and management styles that you could easily work with!
You could go to a couple of online job boards, enter the title to get an idea of educational requirements, skills, years of experience, perhaps pay (to see if it matches-up with your financial goals) to get a better idea if there is a potential match. Perhaps some of your LinkedIn 'connections' work(ed) there? Hm-m.
Okay, it’s time for the resume!
Ugh. Most people have only written a handful in their professional life and they know they’re not very good at it. Obviously, I suggest a certified, professional that can turn your ‘chronological obituary’ into a ‘marketing masterpiece’ that will probably be required to get that interview! However, if you want to do another solo flight, let’s continue…
Beneath your name and contact information should be your ‘market brand’ with that new ‘career position’ in mind! One that I authored a few hours ago – Innovative, Communicative, Customer Satisfaction Executive. His prioritized choices for his next position are (1) Customer Service Executive, (2) Regional/General Manager, (3) Director of Product Replenishment (which is rather close to his job titles for the past 15 years). As a former Vice President/General Manager I know what it takes to be a GM and he doesn’t have the full background for it, and he agreed that he would have to get very lucky to land a GM spot. Number Two is now gone.
I’m not going to go into the ingredients of the remainder of a professional resume at this point. They are all different depending upon a host of things.
Imagine, if you can, the name, contact info, the MARKET BRAND, the portable skills he has, the professional achievements that are also portable to this new position he is seeking and his education…all on Page One. No employers (unless you’re reasonably to the job market, therefore making a one-page resume the way to go). That begins Page Two with a Heading - “Professional Synopsis.”
Hiring decision-makers (DMs), and recruiters only spend three to seven seconds skimming a resume. I don’t want to distract them with employers, cities, states, dates! I want them to instantly know what/who this person is professionally via their market brand; the skills and achievements they have that are portable to this new position. If that is all I focus upon on the first page, I’ve got them for more than the typical three to seven seconds! Now, they will go from skimming to reading. Then, Page Two, and possibly a Page Three. Never have a four-page resume...three pages require a reason!
What if, in this case, he finds a different job title to pursue? The first paragraph on the cover letter (email body) has three important items: Job Title, Industry, and Location. One, two, and/or all three can be changed in a couple of minutes to match the opportunity exactly so you appear focused. The resume probably needs no change at all! BUT…if he decides to go after that GM opportunity, highlight “Customer Satisfaction Executive” and type “General Management Prospect,” since he’s never had that job title before. Quick and easy.
The flexibility for differing job titles, industries, and locations is your cover letter. Seldom, if ever, does the resume need to be touched if well-written in the first place. Another reason to invest in yourself with professional assistance.
The first, therefore oldest, certifying body for professional resume writers is the ‘Professional Association of Résumé Writers & Career Coaches’ in Florida (www.parw.com ). The physical location of the certified writer may, or may not be important for you. For instance, if I wanted a position in the federal government, I would choose someone in Virginia since resumes for governmental opportunities are different and someone in Virginia has probably authored a lot of them! I have clients from coast-to-coast and a few from other continents!
I hope this writing answers a few questions and provides a bit more direction. All the best to you!
Hello! I'm Bruce Clagg,
Advanced Career Solutions
Advanced Career Solutions (ACS) is a professional resume writing services firm also providing unique, job interview training, LinkedIn Profile rebuilding, career counseling & coaching from the ONLY multi-certified professional* in Pennsylvania.
- Bruce Clagg, Rapid Employment & Career Management Coach
*The four Certifications are noted within.