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The Secret to Targeting Your Resume

At Loud Resumes, we create resumes that help you get more interviews and job offers, but how do we achieve that?

Targeting Your ResumeWe specifically target every part of your resume to the job you are seeking. Targeting your resume, along with making sure that your experience is value-based, and there are no grammatical errors or typos on your resume, results in you getting more interviews and offers. It sounds simple enough, but the process of targeting your resume is actually fairly complex. Here’s a breakdown of what the process looks like:

1. Targeting Your Resume by Analyzing the Job Posting

Before even thinking about starting the resume writing process, we analyze the job posting. We scour it for keywords and evaluate what is most important to this employer. What are they looking for in their ideal employee? Which skills and experience will impress them the most? What are their company values?

2. Evaluating Your Experience

After carefully analyzing the job posting to determine what the ideal candidate for this job looks like, we then evaluate your experience. We look at your job history to identify the experience that most closely matches what the company wants. We also note any education or special training that you have that will impress a hiring manager.

Once we have made our initial evaluation, we create a list of questions for you to answer to help us match your experience as closely as possible to the job posting. We also ask questions to help you identify any underlying value in things you have done in your previous positions. This step is crucial. We aren’t interested in just re-wording your previous resume for you, our goal is to elevate you to ideal candidate status for the job you are most interested in. This takes time and effort, but it is always worth it.

3. The Summary Statement

After gathering all of the preliminary information, it’s time to begin targeting your resume. The first thing a hiring manager sees at the top of your resume is the summary statement. This is the place to introduce yourself and highlight your most relevant skills and experience. The goal is to convince them in one short paragraph that you are someone they want to get to know better. We don’t use “fluff” or “filler,” but instead we focus on concrete “selling points” that make you stand out.

4. Core Competencies

The core competencies section gives the opportunity to list keywords found directly in the job posting. This helps your resume get through ATS scans and it makes it easy for a hiring manager to see that you have the key points they are looking for. We don’t just throw a list of keywords randomly onto your resume, but instead, target them to the position. This goes beyond just using the right words, we also focus on listing them in the most effective order possible.

5. Targeting Your Resume Experience

In the pre-writing process, we evaluated your experience and identified all of the value that you brought to your previous employers. Now it is time to show that experience in a way that positions you as an ideal candidate. Based on the job posting, we decide what order to list the bullet points under each position you have held. This allows us to make sure that a hiring manager sees the experience that is most important and impressive. It highlights the qualifications you have for this new position and shows your value as an employee.

Along with highlighting the most sought-after experience that you have, we also minimize anything that could hinder your chances of being interviewed. We eliminate as many reasons as possible for a hiring manager NOT to interview or hire you.

6. Education and Professional Development

This section of your resume might seem pretty straight-forward, and compared to some of the other sections, it is. But, sometimes it can be targeted towards a specific job posting. We take the time to clearly present your relevant credentials and training.

7. Technology Skills

Sometimes there are technical skills that are particularly sought after in the job posting. We make sure that, if you have those skills, they are clearly seen on your resume. We also make sure that irrelevant skills are removed. There is no need to take up valuable space on your resume with information that won’t help you get the job.

8. Professional Affiliations

Professional groups that you belong to can also help increase your appeal to a hiring manager, so we list your relevant affiliations next. Sometimes we include details about your specific activities in these groups if they bring added value that could help you get the job.

9. Volunteerism

Including a section on your resume to describe your volunteer activities is not always necessary, but if space allows, it can be valuable. If you have volunteer experience that is specifically related to the job you are seeking, then it is a good idea to include it. Unrelated volunteer experience can also be included to show the type of person you are.

10. Proofreading and Editing

The final step to create your resume is editing and proofreading. We go back and read what we have written, comparing it to the target job posting. When we read your resume, we should see a picture of that ideal candidate we described when we analyzed the job posting. We make sure that everything is targeted as closely as possible. This also gives us the opportunity to check for any grammatical or typing errors so that your resume is error-free.

Targeting Your ResumeThe final product is a resume that presents you as an ideal candidate for the exact job that the hiring manager is trying to fill. This makes you memorable and desirable. It makes the hiring manager want to meet you. This is how we get our clients more interviews and job offers. Your resume is more than just a history of your work experience, it is a chance for you to make a first impression on a hiring manager who is looking for someone just like you. Targeting your resume makes all the difference. Let us help you target your resume!

Resume Return On Investment

What does return on investment have to do with your resume? Well, a lot actually. First, there is the expectation that your resume will do something for you. The time and effort (and money, if you use a professional resume service) spent on creating your resume needs to result in a new job. A new job that offers more satisfaction, or freedom, or money, is worth the investment. Return On Investment

You Are Asking A Hiring Manager to Invest In You

When hiring managers view resumes, they planning on investing in a new employee, and they are hoping for a high return on investment. After all, the company invests thousands of dollars into hiring a single new employee. Consider the cost of hiring for a moment. It goes way beyond the salary and benefits package. There is also the cost of recruiting which includes money spent on advertising the position and time spent on reviewing resumes, interviewing candidates, drug screenings, background checks, and any pre-employment assessments that need to be completed.

And, that’s not all. After hiring someone, there are the costs of workplace integration to consider: a computer with all the necessary software installed on it, a company cell phone, travel costs, the office space where the employee will work, etc. Once a new employee is in place, it still often takes months for their productivity levels to be on par with the salary they are earning. A new employee typically has to work for a company more than six months for the company to break even on their investment.

Your Resume is a Selling Tool

Your resume is your chance to make a first impression with a hiring manager. In a matter of seconds, someone decides whether or not they want to meet you. With a single glance at that piece of paper, you either capture the attention needed to get your foot in the door, or you don’t. It’s that simple. The difference between getting an interview or not starts with a thin piece of paper.

That thin piece of paper has the power to speak volumes about you. It is your first chance to show that you are a low-risk, high-yielding investment opportunity. In six seconds or less, you need the hiring manager to want to meet you. With so much riding on your resume, spending money on a professionally written resume is worth it. Spending $300 to make sure your resumes says, “I’m the perfect person for this job!” yields a high return on investment.

Which resume package will you invest in?

Why Isn’t Your Resume Getting You Interviews?

 

Maybe you believe there’s nothing wrong with your resume. Maybe you’re right. If your resume is getting you the interviews and job offers for positions you actually want, then, you’re probably right.

Resume ProblemsBut, if your resume is not getting you those interviews and job offers, then odds are that there is something wrong. So, how do you begin to fix a broken resume? First, you have to recognize what’s wrong with it. There are a plethora of potential problems, but if you have already made sure you are avoiding the really obvious mistakes (unprofessional email, starting every bullet point with “responsible for”, etc.) then what else could it be?

More often than not, if you have used a professional format and there are no egregious grammar errors, your resume is being passed over because it isn’t closely aligned with the job posting or the company itself. Are you using the same resume for every job under the sun? If so, there’s your problem. While it’s great to have a base resume to work with, it is essential to tailor it specifically towards every single position to which you apply. Sometimes this means only making minor changes, while other times, it can mean nearly a complete rewrite.

Tailoring your resume to your audience (the hiring manager for a specific job posting) is essential.

OK, so how do you tailor a resume towards a specific job position? First, do some research. Read, and reread the job posting several times. As you read it, make a list of specific skills or experience that the company is looking for in their ideal job candidate. For each of those skills or areas of experience, make a list of things you have done that clearly demonstrate your skills and experience in those areas. If you find that you can’t clearly demonstrate more than half of those, you’re probably not a good candidate for the position. You’ll likely be up against candidates who are able to demonstrate their experience in most of those key areas, which greatly reduces the chances of you being called for an interview. If this was your absolute dream job, it doesn’t mean that you’ll never get hired for it, but it does mean that, if you are serious about wanting it, you’ll take the time to find ways to gain the needed skills before trying to apply for it. This might mean taking a different position as a stepping-stone to your dream job, or it could mean going back to school.

Once you have established that you really are applying for a position that you are highly qualified for, you need to present your experience in a way that makes this clear to the hiring manager. Take that list that you made earlier describing precisely how you meet the qualifications and make sure that these points are on your resume. When you are arranging the bullet points on your resume describing each position you have held, make sure that the ones that are most relevant to the position you are applying for are listed first. This brings them to the attention of the hiring manager.

Think about what is most important to the hiring manager.

Now it is time to write your summary statement. Before beginning, do some research into the company as a whole. This will help you set the tone of the summary statement (and your cover letter). In your summary statement, highlight the qualifications that you have that are most desired by the company in the position you are seeking.

Under your summary statement, include a core competencies section. List the keywords from the job description that match experience that you have. Place the most important keywords first so that hiring managers can easily find them. Make sure that the keywords you list here are clearly demonstrated in the experience section of your resume; otherwise, this section is a waste of space and is seen as “fluff” by hiring managers.

We use this procedure for every resume we write and it greatly increases the number of interviews and job offers received. Want to know how your resume stacks up against the competition? Send it over for a free resume review!

What Went Wrong on Dazzlecloud’s Resume?

Colorful is not the way to go…

Dazzlecloud’s resume told the hiring manager that she was conceited, wasteful, and cared only about her wants rather than the company’s needs. How could this have been avoided? The first mistake that Dazzlecloud made was using a colorful resume template. While a little color can sometimes be a good thing, large, colorful headers aren’t the way to go, especially if the hiring manager is going to be the one who prints it off. Choose a template that is professional and easy to read, rather than one that looks like it is trying too hard to draw attention. (Dazzlecloud also chose to center everything on her resume, which meant that she had bullet points all over the place, leaving her resume looking unprofessional and hard to read.)

Objective statements are a thing of the past…

The next major problem with Dazzlecloud’s resume was the use of an objective statement. Objective statements are a thing of the past because they focus solely on what the job candidate wants rather than showing what the job candidate has to offer the company. Use a summary statement instead. This gives you an opportunity to introduce yourself while highlighting the value you can bring to the position and to the company.

Longer isn’t better…

Finally, make sure that your resume is an appropriate length. Generally speaking, longer isn’t better. For a student or recent graduate with only a couple of years of work experience, keep it to a single page. If you have been working for more than five years AND have enough relevant experience to justify using two pages, then use two pages. Don’t feel the need to include every detail of every job you’ve ever held–focus on only including the experience that shows how you can be a valuable employee to this company in this role (this means tailoring your resume to each position you apply for).

Want to know what your resume is saying about you? Send it over and we’ll review it for free.

What Went Wrong on Izetta’s Resume?

Izetta had 15 years of experience as a chief executive officer in the healthcare field, which should have made it easy for her to get the interview for the position, but her resume landed in the trash instead. What went wrong? Isn’t it enough to have the right experience in the right field? Having the right experience is critical, but that experience doesn’t do you much good unless you clearly show the hiring manager your experience and the VALUE you can bring to the company. Izetta listed her experience and briefly described some of her job duties in her last position, but she failed to show the true benefits of the work she had done in the past. Just showing up for work every day and performing your basic job duties isn’t enough to convince anyone that you would be a valuable asset to their team. When a company hires an employee, they are making an investment (there is a salary that the employee will earn, in addition to the time and money spent on hiring and training), and before making a hiring decision, they want to have some idea of what they can expect from the employee in terms of return-on-investment (ROI). The best way to gauge the expected ROI is by looking at the contributions the employee has made in previous positions.

So, what can you do to help a hiring manager see you as a wise investment? Make sure that your value and contributions show up clearly on your resume. Begin by asking questions like this: How did the last company you worked for benefit from having you as an employee? What contributions did you make? Did you increase profits? Did you save money? Did you improve day-to-day operations? (If so, how did you do it and what impact did it have?) Be as specific as possible. It’s not enough just to say, “I saved the company money.” Try to quantify your contributions whenever possible by describing how you improved things and by how much. For example, a statement such as, “Improved employee retention” does not show as much value as, “Implemented an employee incentive program, increasing employee retention by 5%.” The first statement implies that you benefitted the company in some way, while the second statement shows that you are able to identify areas of need, take action to address that need, and the results are a measurable improvement.

Izetta’s biggest problem on her resume was her lack of quantifiable accomplishments or contributions, but her resume fell short overall because it was not an executive-level resume. It did nothing to show her professionalism or the level of seniority that is expected from someone applying for a C-level executive position. If you want to be taken seriously as an executive (or, at any level, really) your resume needs to be professional.

Our professional resume writers know how to ask questions to help you identify contributions you have made and quantify them so that they have the most impact. Order your resume package today so that you don’t face the same problems that Izetta did!

What Went Wrong on Katerina’s Resume?

Writing a resume can be tricky business. Sometimes it can be difficult to know what to include and what to leave out. In Katerina’s case, she didn’t know what to leave out and how damaging some things could be. She was under the impression that you should always include your full job history on your resume, but there are times when leaving information off from your resume is far more helpful than including it. In her case, she needed to omit the job that she had back in the 1980’s for several reasons. First, it is ideal to limit your job history to the most recent 10 years. Most of the time, this is going to be the most relevant experience that you have, so you want to keep the focus on it, rather than less relevant experience from your past. If you have significant gaps in your job history, as Katerina does, this isn’t something that you want to brag about to a hiring manager, so leaving off prior jobs is prudent (or, if you feel they need to be listed, list them at the end of the employment history without dates attached to them).

Katerina also listed her college experience, which is generally a good idea, but how she approached it was problematic. Including the dates when she attended college gave the hiring manager a reference point to determine her age, and listing college experience that did not result in a degree, when combined with the gaps in her job history, made it appear as though she has a habit of not following through with things, which is often sends up red flags for hiring managers. She would have been better off omitting the dates she attended college.

Our resume experts know how to recognize problems on your resume and can create a resume for you that helps you show your true value. Let us help you get more interviews, order your new resume today!