What does an employer need to know about you before you can land an interview?
“My resume tells people everything I’ve ever done, and I’ve done a lot! How is that not enough to get their attention?!”
My website says, “ALL of my clients are above average,” and it’s true. My clients are often career changers, and even when they’re not, they are life-long learners. They have broad skill sets, as well as extensive education or experience, and they are recognized as subject-matter experts in their fields of endeavor.
If they’ve been in the workforce for a while, my clients have multiple stories to tell about their quantifiable accomplishments at many levels, in numerous areas of subject matter expertise, and often in diverse industries.
If they are students, their brag books may be filled with unique upper-level courses, shadowing, co-ops, internships, projects, awards, scholarships, student or community leadership, and other hints of future greatness.
How much of that needs to be on the resume? You may not like this answer: It depends!
The first question on an employer’s mind as she or he sifts through candidate resumes is: “Can this person increase my organization’s bottom line?”
So … how DO you keep an employer’s attention? Simple (but not easy): Prove that you can be relevant, cost-effective and/or profitable, right out of the starting gate (or, at least, following orientation).
The second question each employer must ask is: “Does this candidate understand what we need?”
For job candidates, this question is essential to producing a relevant resume document. Once you understand the employer’s needs, you can position yourself as the solution. Answer this by studying the job posting in detail and identifying the company’s challenges in relation to the open position.
- Can you fit your skill sets into the employer’s “toolbox?”
- Do you have the ability to solve problems, reduce expenses, increase revenue?
- Are your capabilities both current and relevant?
- Can you prove both your abilities and your follow-through?
Use your resume to demonstrate your comprehension of your reader’s needs and showcase your related (quantifiable) successes. You’ll land the interview.
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