The Real Purpose of a Résumé: Getting Interviews

Three essentials for writing a résumé for a posted job opening.

The first essential ingredient in writing a résumé for a posted job opening is a succinct, specific job objective.  The job objective tells the reader quickly whether your résumé is worth reading.  (It's imperative to do this if your résumé is being scanned for key words.)

Employers get stacks of résumés for each job posting they make, and they simply don't have time to read each one from beginning to end.  For the most part, all résumés that don't grab the attention of the reader within the first few seconds get tossed.

So, how do you grab their attention in that split second?  With a short, precise job objective.  This makes the employer's task easy.  If the employer is looking for an Administrative Assistant, all they have to do is go through the pile and pull out all the résumés that say "Job Objective:  Administrative Assistant." at the top of the first page.

If you don't include a specific job objective for an open posted position, the résumé may never be read at all.

Also, if you make the job objective long and rambling, that résumé may get discarded as well.  Five to 7 words should be the maximum length.  Focus on the employer's needs, tailor the objective to the company's posting, and avoid any generalizations and clichés.

The second ingredient is to tailor your entire résumé to support your objective.  There is absolutely no reason to include information that doesn’t do this.  Remember:  your résumé is a strategic marketing piece, not a tell-all autobiography.

And the third ingredient is to use powerful action words to describe your accomplishments, especially those accomplishments that made your previous company money, saved them money and/or increased the effectiveness of the organization.

Remember always:  getting your résumé read in the first place is a major milestone in getting interviews, and the only way to get your résumé read for a posted job opening is to indicate decisively and immediately that you're a match for what they seek.


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