The #1 way to get your resume read in 2018 is the same as it was in 2017 and the same as it will be in 2019. “Write for the employer, not for you.”
That means, even though you may be impressed by all of your great skills, qualifications, attributes, and work experience, do not make the mistake of thinking a potential employer will be as impressed. He won’t.
On your resume, list only what the employer is looking for, not what you think will impress him. Write for the employer, not for you.
If you’ve stopped in at GoResumePro.ca, you might recall reading my blunt commentary on resume-writing: “It’s not rocket science — it’s common sense…”
Perhaps it isn’t fair to suggest it takes only common sense to write a fantastic resume. Perhaps what I should have said is: “It’s not rocket science — it’s a discovery”.
I mean, you don’t know what you don’t know, right? So, I am going to help you discover how to write for the employer so your resume will get read and probably even get you invited to an interview. Then, I’ll give you a great tip to help you get started writing an amazingly-fantastic resume you won’t believe you wrote yourself! So, what is…
The #1 Way to Get Your Resume Read in 2018?
Answer: Copy the Job Posting!
Seriously. That is the answer — copy the job posting — the job posting is your golden ticket!
Often, when a company prepares to fill a position, everyone from the company-owner, to the HR manager, to at least one other employee (usually from the department in which the position needs to be filled), puts a lot of collaborative brainstorming into developing the job description. What they eventually come up with is lists of skills, requirements, and qualifications their ideal applicants will meet. Some job postings are a mile long, and that’s a good thing! Thanks to the company’s collaborative efforts in writing a detailed and descriptive job posting, your job is easy!
Great Tip: Use Words from the Job Posting
Back in the day it was referred to as “skills matching”. Nowadays, with so many companies using ATSs, it’s more about peppering your resume with the key words and phrases used in the job posting. Although I implied earlier you should ‘copy the job posting’, I don’t mean “copy” word-for-word — I mean grab key words and phrases from the job posting to use in your descriptions, not as your descriptions. Here’s an example:
Job Posting for an Administrative Assistant
- operate multi-line telephone system with high call retention
- use MS Office Suite to compile documents, publications, and spreadsheets
- manage executives calendars, meetings, and appointments in Outlook
Resume for an Administrative Assistant
- competently operated a 12-line telephone system successfully retaining and redirecting up to 100 calls per day in-house and remotely
- used extensive knowledge of MS Office Suite to compose and compile a high volume of error-free executive-level documents and company publications
- maintained complex company-designed spreadsheets to closely track the movement of inventories of six separate departments
- scheduled and amended meetings and appointments for four executives using Outlook Calendars and the full compliment of its features
In the above examples, see how the highlighted words in the job posting are “copied” on the resume? They are incorporated, naturally, as a part of the applicant’s real work experience and that is precisely what the employer is looking for. Whether it is an ATS scanning your resume or human eye balls, it is those key words and phrases that get noticed.
Give Them What They Want
They’ve gone to the trouble to show you what they are looking for, so you must go to the trouble to show them you have what they are looking for! Use their words to fill out descriptions of your skills, abilities, and work experience. And by the way, work experience is now called “accomplishments”. Check out my article, What are These Accomplishments We’re Supposed to Put on Our Resumes?
I have always said, and will continue to say — never, ever send out generic resumes. If you seriously want a certain job then you seriously must customize your resume to get that job. Write for the employer, not for you. The way to do that is to use the words in the job posting. You know you have the skills and experience to be considered for the job, so use the words the hiring people used to show them you have what they want!
Alright all you job-seekers, there it is for today. Remember, since I am an expert resume-writer I can develop a fantastic resume and cover letter for you, so don’t stress! Believe me, there is no shame in getting an expert to write such an important document for you. And, as always, I welcome comments so I can make this blog really useful and helpful to all job-seekers.
Did I help you to see the difference between writing for the employer and writing for you? I’d love to hear your feedback!
Thanks for your time today!