A Resume for Tough Economic Times

Your resume doesn’t work because it is probably too general, too unfocused because you have omitted the critical steps of understanding exactly what the customer is buying and customizing what you have to offer to their expressed needs.

Your resume goes into resume databases that can have over 30 million other resumes against which yours has to compete. A resume that’s simply a recitation of all you have done in your career is too unfocused to work well in this environment.


Here’s how a resume database search works for the recruiter: like a Google search, the recruiter puts in keywords from a specific Job Description and up pop the resumes that match based on the frequency of the relevant keywords they have used.

So what can you do to create a resume that competes in this fierce environment? You can develop an understanding of what employers want when they hire someone like you, how they prioritize those needs and how they describe them.

Focus on the single target job title that captures what you can do best and analyze how employers think about and describe that job. Collect ½ a dozen Job Postings for your target job and deconstruct them, creating a composite job description for your target job: Prioritize the common requirements and the ALL the specific words and phrases used to describe them. From this composite you can say, “this is how employers think about and describe the job I want.”

Now you know the story your resume needs to tell and the words that will maximize its visibility in resume databases. Leverage your new understanding of employers’ prioritization of skills and the words they use in describing your target job and apply this knowledge to what is emphasized in your resume and the words that are used to do so.

You will also want to include a Core Competency section that lists all the critical keywords again. This will help your rankings in the database searches and they will act as headlines for future discussion when reviewed by human eyes.

The most productive resume focuses on your abilities to do one specific target job, so the days of the old unfocused resume are gone. Nowadays you need specifically targeted resumes for each different job you pursue. This is not difficult: simply create a composite job description for each target job, then make a duplicate of your prime resume, saved under another title, and edit it to meet the requirements of that alternate job goal.

Your resume is the most important document you will ever create, the effort you put into it is going to be reflected in your earnings. All the knowledge, insight and understanding you need to possess a killer resume is here on the site, so be smart and invest yourself in your future.

Join Martin every week to learn more about writing a killer resume, getting more job interviews and turning job interviews into job offers at his free weekly webcast, Mondays at noon central. Details: http://my.knockemdead.com

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