Welcome to another installment in my Resume Writing Tip series. Our example today comes from the resume of a Human Resources Generalist. She requested help polishing her resume, and at first glance it appeared fine. However it is important to dig a bit deeper when the stakes are high, so I requested the cover letter and job description the resume was to accompany.
It is important to review all of the parts at one time. This allows you to align the language and feel of the entire package. As expected the multi-pronged comparison (job post, resume and cover letter) revealed a couple opportunities to employ the resume writing tip match your resume to the individual job description.
A consistent theme of this resume writing tip series is that resumes and cover letters are sales pieces. And in any sales situation it is imperative to identify with your audience. You want to even bond with your audience or prospect. You want to build report with them. Bonding and report come more easily and more quickly when both parties are “speaking the same language”. Doing this in your resume and cover letter may seem difficult at first, but the truth is, the job description is the perfect example. Your audience is actually GIVING you the words, skills, tasks, etc… that they deem important. This resume writing tip is all about your ability re-purpose what they asked for directly into your pieces job posting.
My client highlighted her accomplishments and skills very impressively. Yet, one key in the job description was the ability to recruit and develop procedures for on-boarding in a call center environment. Although she had this skill, it was skimmed over instead of being highlighted. So, an easy way to improve her resume was by going through the job description together and focusing on what the employer was looking for. We underscored her success in and with these particular skills, abilities and experiences.
Another component to this resume writing tip is to express your success with metrics. When writing your resume, think about what your audience needs and how you have been successful. For example, my client has put policies in place to reduce call center turnover from 80% to 65%….a reduction of 15%. That measure demonstrates her effectiveness and it translates to actual dollars saved for the company!
When writing your resume, you must consult the job description. Print it. Make notes. Scribble and draw and highlight. Focus on key words they are required for successful job performance. Include these key words and skills to bring focus to how you are a qualified candidate for the position. I have stressed at length the short amount of time you have to make an impression on your audience. By using key words and information directly from the job description, you will slant the playing field in your favor and earn the interview.