It can be tempting to throw yourself at every job posting you see, especially when you are eager to get back into the workforce. But this strategy could be wasting your time on applications that won’t produce results. The act of fine-tuning your job search, being more selective about which jobs you are applying to, and how you are using to them can lead to more and better interviews. Here’s what you need to do to revamp your job search.
Customize Your Resume
Resumes are critical to getting your foot in the door with an employer, and these days it’s not enough to push out the same template resume. You need to position your work experience such that it reflects your unique skills and qualifications. These should pertain to the specific job description that you are applying to. This is critical to make sure your resume gets the attention it deserves.
Job descriptions are a beneficial tool when writing your resume. If you know what your ideal job is, you know what the employers are looking for. That list of required skills and qualifications is a look into the heads of the hiring managers. Make sure your resume reflects those must-haves and positions you for the role of the ideal candidate, and you’ll be much better able to break through that first threshold of the application process.
Think Big Picture
Are you applying for a position that is a definitive leadership role, but you don’t necessarily have the same job title? Don’t let yourself underplay your leadership skills and experience by not thinking big picture. When describing your work history, call out, and highlight those accomplishments and skills that would be critical within a leadership position. Think about how you’ve trained team members, communicated new processes, driven improvements, and brought the vision of your past employers to life. Highlight the leadership skills you have used on the job. Focus on management skills that you have used in your volunteer work. Shine a spotlight on your relevant education or training. That is what hiring managers are looking for, so don’t undersell yourself.
Reorganizing Your Approach
Skills-based resumes are becoming increasingly popular. These resumes help candidates with wide-ranging work histories condense and simplify their experience in a way that is most relevant to the job they are applying for. Don’t let yourself fall into the trap of using a tired, chronologically-formatted resume for the sake of tradition. Instead, focus on the skills and experiences that are most relevant to the job description. Provide examples of how you have used those skills to benefit previous employers. Call out your big wins and your quantifiable accomplishments. These solidify your value to employers looking to see what you can bring to the table if you were hired to work for them.
Remember that resumes are an introduction to who you are as an employee. In today’s fast-paced, gig economy, many candidates are struggling with how they can show their value in a one-page document. The best way to position your work experience is to know what the reader is looking for, thinking about your value from a big-picture perspective, and highlighting the most relevant experience and skills first and foremost. Hiring managers rarely have more time than a few seconds to skim your resume before deciding to take a closer look or move on. Make sure you catch their eye by giving them the information they need to hire you for their job.
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