By Rowe Leathers, GCDF
Contributor, Career Services
Recently, a student who needed resume help told me the process of writing a resume was as “daunting as filing my income tax return.” He described the agony of having to gather past employer information and list and organize the jobs he previously held. After that, he had to summarize the information in a way that was concise, accurate and easy to follow.
In many ways, that student was correct about the effort required to construct a resume. However, once you understand how to structure a resume for an employer’s needs and present yourself, you will find it is a much more pleasant task than filing a tax return.
Tailor Your Resume to The Job and Your Potential Employer
Begin by realizing that the resume is not about you. Tailoring a resume is all about the target job and the needs of the potential employer.
The job listing is essentially a “Help Wanted” sign. The employer has listed the problem he or she wants to solve.
Show that You Understand the Job and the Employer’s Needs
The first step is to understand the requirements of the position and determine if you meet them. Once you understand how you meet those requirements, draft your resume to present yourself as part of the solution the employer seeks.
Second, convey that you are a strong candidate by addressing the employer’s needs, then concisely describe a previous experience in which you exhibited the relevant skills to achieve success. Rather than just listing your previous tasks and responsibilities, guide your potential employer through your career history. Showcase only your relevant experience, skills and achievements. Be sure that each task or experience you include in the resume illustrates your suitability for the position.
Keep Your Experience and Skill Descriptions Specific and Relevant
While knowledge in many areas is impressive and could add to your overall success, the goal of your resume is to present only the information that is relevant to your target job. Refrain from listing unrelated training, experiences or knowledge, as they could dilute your qualifications.
Addressing the needs of the prospective employer and providing only what is relevant will help the employer focus on your qualifying skills. The employer will be more likely to see you as a suitable and capable candidate for an interview.