The real objective of the resume is to connect the dots between you and the potential employer. How you do it is key in being successful.
There are three basic formats of resume;
- Chronological – tells your employment history
- Functional – shows skills and experience
- Combination – shows skills relative to job and where you got them
Some include a fourth format as the targeted resume. I believe that it is not a fourth format in that ALL resumes need to be targeted regardless of format!
The most important key to a successful resume that you need to remember is. “It’s not about you!” It is about how you can help the potential employer be successful. What can you bring to that employer that will convince them to invite you to the interview? If you do not get in the door, there is no chance of getting the position you want. No-one is going to hire you based on your resume alone.
Where is the resume going? Is it to a small mom and pop operation in a small community or to a major corporation in Toronto? All the glitz and glamour of going through a recruitment agency for the Toronto position may overwhelm the small operation. It might show Toronto you are on the way up and the small operation you are on your way out as soon as something better comes along!
Is it an advertised job or are you targeting a particular employer regarding potential employment? Remember that when you apply for an advertised position you could be one of a hundred or, in the case of a Toronto position, one of a thousand applicants. In targeting an employer, you are much more likely to be noticed. Smart employers always watch for talent, knowing that the best time to hire people is before you need them.
In the case of an advertised job, what words did they use in the advertisement? In what order did they list the required skills. Include those words in your resume and list how you match those skills in the same order. If it is a local employer the person reading your resume is likely the person who wrote it and it will resonate better with them. If it is a resume through a major online job bulletin board they may use computer tracking to look for the keywords in your resume that match the employer’s advertisement.
If you are applying to an employer in hopes of a position with them you need to research the employer well, whether the position is advertised or not. Use all available sources of information; Google, LinkedIn, Websites, etc. to find out more about the organization and the person to whom you are directing the resume. If you have a Linkedin profile or have written blogs that are relevant to the position remember to include a link to them.
Your resume can be the paper variety remembering that it is not a novel, it is a succinct presentation to the potential employer and that they form an opinion after 10 seconds so the first few lines had better tell them how you can help them. It can be an attachment to the e-mailed cover letter or you may get really creative for some positions and send an e-portfolio in the form of a blog website. Although not relevant to many positions this allows the employer a more detailed look at you, especially if you have done written work or where pictures or video would better describe how you match the potential position.
No matter what method you chose in your search for employment or career change the most important thing to remember is; TARGET THE EMPLOYER!
If you are unemployed and seeking support for your job search, go to the WorkBC website at www.workBC.ca or visit the local WorkBC Employment Office in your community.
If you are employed and seeking a career change and need some assistance there are resources on the WorkBC website and at www.lrassess.com.
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