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#1 Exercise for Rewriting Your Resume

resume Aug 25, 2020

By Catherine Byers Breet

At some point in the hiring process people will ask you for your resume. Will they like what they see?  Will they bring you in for an interview?

Many people get caught up in writing the ‘perfect’ resume. Sometimes so caught up they miss their opportunity because they don’t apply soon enough. There are 3 things you need to know about a resume:

  1. A resume is NOT going to get you a job. It only has to get you an interview.
  2. They are not going to read the whole thing. You need to grab attention in the first 5-7 seconds. Make sure the top 3rd has your contact info, summary of qualifications, area of expertise and key skills.
  3. Write your resume for your future boss, not your past boss.

So how do you craft a resume that accomplishes #2 and #3?

#1 Exercise for rewriting your resume: Identify the Gaps

The most important thing to do when creating a resume is to follow these steps to identify the gaps you may have for the positions you want.

1. Don’t start with where you have been - start with identifying what your next employer wants to see. Skills, experience, certification etc.

  • Look at 4 or 5 online job postings you are really interested in and highlight what you think is most important to them. Based on the job title, company and industry determine what looks like the most important from the entire list.

  • Make a list of 10 -15 skills that they are asking for. Be specific.

  • Do your research by talking to people that are doing those jobs in that industry to verify your skill list. Make adjustments as necessary.

 2. Identify if you have those skills or not.

  • Finalize your list of desired skills and qualifications for the position you want. Are there any gaps that are you missing?
  • Dig into what the company needs to see. For example, are there iterations of a specific skill i.e. SAP There are many different modules of SAP. What modules are they looking for? Repeat this process with each skill listed.
  • Make sure you are talking about the skills in the right language if you are changing industries. Acronyms are different between different industries.
  • One you have identified the gaps, take action to close those gaps. 

3. Update your resume to reflect your work towards closing those gaps.

  • When your resume shows you working toward a goal the automated systems will see the keywords and a human will see you are working toward what they need. 

4. Check your resume against the job posting to see if you have utilized the correct keywords. 

  • A tool you can use to test your resume is JobScan.co. It gives you an instant report on how well your resume matches the keywords. Remember, you can’t just fix your resume according to what Job Scan says. Your resume still needs to read well for a human being.

If you don’t ask, “What am I missing?” you will waste time looking for a job. They are asking that question on the hiring side of the desk.

Your resume is a tool to get you the interview. It is up to you to get through the interview questions to understand how your past fits their future.                                                                  

If you are interested in learning more about writing a resume or improving your job search check out the Job Hunt Toolkit.

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