Now that you have selected a resume format, we need to talk about the content of your resume.
We call it the Targeting and Tailoring Process™ for resume writing. With this method, you target your audience, and then tailor the content of the resume to fit the audience. While you are very interested in how to tailor your resume content, take a moment to understand why targeting is more important.
In archery, which is better? To wildly hurl arrows down range and hope they hit something or to pick a particular target and aim only at it? (Well, if you have no archery skills you may think that not aiming may be a better strategy.) For the experienced archer, however, aiming at a target is critical.
Targeting allows you to focus all your energies at one point. Targeting helps you make the best of your efforts and prevents wasted time and energy. Job searching is similar to our archery analogy. Too often, candidates scatter general resumes about, handing them to anyone.
With this method there is no quality control. You could be handing your Computer Programmer resume to a restaurant manager looking for a bus boy! The worst part is you just wasted time, effort, and resources. We recommend you target your resumes so they are going to the audience that wants them. This means you are necessarily going to have more than one version of your resume. (We once had someone we worked with create eighteen different versions of his resume for the eighteen different companies he was applying to.)
Targeting begins when you decide what it is you want to do. Some blessed individuals know exactly what they want. For most, there is uncertainty and fear in knowing how to translate their life's history into the next job they want to apply for. Banish these thoughts!
A good guide is to focus on things in your current job (or school subject) you enjoy and try to find those traits in another job. In fact here is the best job advice we can give:
– If you can find something you enjoy, a job that will challenge you and help you grow, that lets you use all your best talents and qualities, then that is the job for you.
– If you can find something that will let you be around good people, a job with people who are positive and uplifting, then that is the job for you.
– If you can find something that respects your priorities, a job that will help you achieve the work-life harmony you need, then that is the job for you.
If you are still having trouble deciding, talk to friends, take a skills inventory, or just peruse some job listings. Maybe something will spark an interest in you. For now, we are going to assume you have a general idea of what you want to do.
Once you have found the job you are interested in, find out what companies have those kinds of jobs. The Internet is the best tool for quickly researching companies. As an example, go to your favorite search engine and type in consultant. If you do this in multiple search engines, you would probably see company links like Delloitte, Ernst and Young, maybe Pricewaterhouse, or Booz and Co.
Next check out one of the company's website. There you will see the company speaking the company's language. As you read through the site, you see them talk about what is important to them. When they describe their job vacancies, they list certain prerequisites and skills in very specific language.
As you write your resume, thing about that language. Use it subtly, but write to make their HR Managers feel comfortable with the fact that you have the knowledge, skills, and experience they are looking for. Show them you understand what they want and need in an employee.
Face it, you have had many experiences. Use the ones that fit the company you are writing to.
Resume writing under the Targeting and Tailoring Process™ requires a lot of research. The targeting process helps you identify the jobs you are interested in so you can tailor your content to match the company.
We strongly urge you to spend some time reviewing this system. In the long run, it will prove quite helpful.
Next we take you through the key steps to follow in the Targeting and Tailoring Process™.
Continue...to inventory your interests, skills, and abilities.