One Resume Is All I Need, Right?
This is one of the most asked questions of resume writers today. In most cases, the answer is no. And, here’s why.
Skill sets required for most positions are different. And, with that in mind, it makes sense that your keywords and competencies need to reflect this. The smart job hunters know this and will alter their resume to include these words or phrases. It is critical since scanners are doing the heavy load of sorting through thousands of resumes that are entering the systems everyday. So many job hunters will never . . . and I mean never make it to the table because they refuse to adjust their resume. No one said this would be easy. Even if you have the proper credentials, job experience and education . . . you may never get to the table because the scanners will not pick ‘you’ up. Automated Tracking Systems are in full force, so let’s quit kidding ourselves on this point.
The number one goal is to make an HR manager look at your resume and come to the conclusion that you were made for that job and their company. Reviewing the company mission and reading the introduction to the job posting is critical. There are golden nuggets i.e. information that will help finesse your copy to make you look like you are made for that job. Look carefully at the opening paragraph to the posting.
How do you figure out what keywords to change? There is a really great way to do this..one is to cut and paste your job description into a site called www.tagcrowd.com which is a web application developed by Daniel Steinbock at Stanford University. It takes the text and formulates a tag cloud which is a visual graphic of the key words in your job description. It makes the key words pop up and bingo….you’ve got your new set of key words from that job description.
Another way is to simply Google, “What are the keywords for _____?”
It is critical that after you alter your resume and apply to these positions that you track where and to whom you sent the resume to. For example, if I was applying for a position at Penn, my document might read M. ThomasUPenn.doc; if I was applying to Right Management, it would read M. ThomasRight.doc and so on and so forth. This way when the recruiter calls you, you can easily pull up the document to familiarize yourself with what “sales” brochure of yourself that you sent out.
Finally, keeping a spreadsheet of your job applications is a great idea! List your dates of application, contact names, company names and where you saw the job posting. Being organized and updating your spreadsheet will go a long way in your search. You will also be able to see which resume is working for you more than the rest. And, in the phone screen when that recruiter calls you . . . there will be no missteps on your part.