Resume / Cover Letter Writing (Just ASK!)
The Cold, Hard Reality of Résumés
Writing a résumé is an important tool that you’ll need to develop throughout the “Searching” phase of Just ASK! in order to succeed in the “Knocking” phase. In case you were wondering – yes, you need a résumé!
WARNING: a general résumé won’t cut it these days. It is more common now-a-days to create a targeted résumé, and that takes some effort on your part (don’t worry, we’ll show you how to write a great targeted résumé). While a targeted résumé does not guarantee you a job, its purpose is to generate interviews for the jobs you’ve applied for – that’s it!
Keep in mind that that is a big deal. Why?
In an era where Human Resource departments literally get hundreds of résumés for a variety of job listings, the cold, hard truth is that not every résumé submitted will get read.
In organizations that use electronic applicant tracking systems to manage their hiring process, résumés are scanned electronically and then ranked based on the prevalence of specific keywords. From there, résumés with the highest scores are the ones that get read first
HR departments then read each résumé selected until they’ve identified a predetermined number of “qualified” applicants to begin their interviewing process. When they are done, they move onto reviewing résumés for the next job listing.
Here’s something else you may not have known – studies have shown that recruiters spend an average of less than 10 seconds looking at each résumé before making a decision on it – before making a decision on you! In order to beat these odds, your résumé must be outstanding.
So how do you write a great targeted résumé that will not only score high enough on the keyword scan, but will also capture HR’s attention in less than 10 seconds?
First you have to figure out what keywords they are specifically looking for. Then, you have to know what information HR is looking for in that 10-second time frame. The process we will demonstrate will result in a résumé that is 90% - 95% pre-targeted for the kind of job you are applying for. As you apply for each position, you will need to “tweak” your résumé to pick up the final 5% - 10% of unique keywords specific to that particular position and employer. Tweaking should take no longer than 5 – 15 minutes at most.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are planning on applying for more than one type of position, you may need different versions of your résumé, each one targeted specifically for a particular position you’ve chosen to apply for. We will show you how to determine how many versions of your résumé you will need.
Basic Targeted Resume Writing Process:
- Step 1: Let’s begin by doing some market research. (We know this may be really tedious, but bear with us). Start by identifying 6 “good” job postings for the kind of position you are seeking.
- Step 2: Analyze the “good” job postings to identify those elements (keywords) that are common across the board.
- Step 3: Write your résumé focusing on the point of view of the common words you’ve identified.
- Step 4: Quickly create a highly-targeted résumé when applying for jobs.
For a complete discussion of the 4 steps above, click here to read more.
Click to view a Resume Writing Guide.