"I've always been successful with whatever has been thrown at me. How do I take all my varied skills and combine them into a resume that works?" -- Karen W., Ohio.
You can no longer get away with a resume that is a biography of all you have done in your professional life. Such a resume may show you have gobs of experience, mucho different skills and can do a lot of "stuff" but because it is unfocused, will not get pulled from the commercial resume banks and that means fewer job interviews.
The problem doesn't stop there, on the rare occasions that an unfocused biographical resume does get pulled from the resume database, harried and distracted recruiters just don't care about wading through all you can do to find out if you can do the one specific job they are trying to fill today. 5-10 seconds and they'll move on from your resume to one that displays better focus and speaks directly to their needs. So what do you do in response?
More Than One Resume
If there is more than one job you want to pursue, you will need more than one resume. Your resume is an integral part of your professional success story and there are no shortcuts for creating this most important of marketing tools.
Think about it, your resume is the most financially important document you will ever own: when it works you work, when it doesn't you don't.
So when you have multiple job capabilities, make a list of the jobs you can do and then prioritize them based on your needs. For example, if getting back to work and the paychecks rolling again is the top priority, your #1 job will be the one for which you can make the strongest argument "on paper" and at the job interview. This choice will become your prime resume, from which other resumes, for other jobs, are easy to create.
The Resume Recruiters Love? It's Easy As 1, 2, 3.
There are many jobs that you can do, and many that you will never get called for unless you give your resume the laser focus on a target job that will get it pulled from resume databases and actually read by recruiters. Recruiters love resumes that scream your ability to do a specific job, and giving them what they need is easy.
One. Collect 6 job postings for your primary target job (that job you are best qualified to do).
Two. Create a Word document and title it TJD for Target Job Deconstruction. Start with a first subhead reading: JOB TITLE, then copy and paste each variation title from your six job posting samples into the doc.
Three. Add a second subhead: SKILLS/RESPONSIBILITIES etc., then look through your sample job postings for a single requirement that is common to all six of your examples. Take the most complete description of that single requirement and copy and paste it into your TJD doc; put a #6 by the entry to signify it is common to all. Repeat this exercise for any other requirements common to all six of your job postings.
Next, repeat this whole step for requirements common to five of the jobs and then four and so on down the ladder. When the exercise is complete, you can look at he results and see that, "When employers are hiring people like me they tend to refer to them by these job titles, they prioritize their needs in this way and use these words to describe them." This delivers exactly the story your resume needs to tell and the words you need to tell it compellingly.
Creating Custom Resumes For Additional Jobs
Creating a custom resume for that second job you can do isn't as scary as you might think, because that second job almost certainly has a number of skills and experiences that are the same or related to those in your primary resume. Plus, all the employers, dates and formal structure of the resume will already be in place.
You can complete your second customized resume in two steps:
- Repeat the Target Job Deconstruction exercise using 6 job postings relating to your second target job.
- Make a duplicate of your primary resume and save it under the second job title you want to pursue. Review this document with your target Job Deconstruction in hand, editing out whatever doesn't apply to this new job and replacing with details of the skills and experiences that do apply.
The world of work has changed and maintaining success requires staying current with changing strategies and tactics. If you agree, please come join me on Wednesday 12th October at 8PM Eastern for a live resume workshop when I'll show you how to create a killer resume and answer all your resume questions. The workshop is free but you'll need a reservation because capacity is limited; register now by clicking here. 50 free resume and job search letter templates for the first 100 registrants.