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May 2012

March 2012

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.

The Real Purpose of a Résumé: Getting Interviews

The first résumé you send to an employer is an advertisement designed to get you an interview.  Nothing more.  Nothing less.

Many people think of a résumé as a summary of a person's entire life and career.  They often stick in everything they've ever done, and every bit of information about themselves with the idea that the employer is going to do be impressed enough to give them a job.

Unfortunately, employers are not in the business of helping people by handing out jobs.  When it comes to hiring staff, any employer has only one thought in mind:  how to make their business more profitable.  Employers hire people because they believe those people will help them make more money, safe money and/or increase the effectiveness of their operations.

A résumé must demonstrate clearly and concisely that you will help a potential employer's business be successful, especially smaller businesses.  Your résumé MUST contain all the best evidence supporting that claim.

The more you make yourself look like someone who can achieve results for an employer, the more interviews you will get.

The core imperative in writing a résumé is to make an identity-building statement central to the needs of the employer communicated so clearly and effectively that it's apparent immediately that it's worth the readers time to offer you an interview.

Keep in mind that employers are not the only people who will see your résumé.  Keep copies of your résumé with you always, and give them to friends, relatives, neighbors, or anyone else you meet.

The more people who see your résumé, the more employers will call you for an interview, and that includes many employers you never thought of approaching.

It's advertising!  Sending résumés directly to hiring authorities may be the best way to make sure they hear of you, but it's not the only way.

IT'S ALL ABOUT GETTING INTERVIEWS - No interviews, no job offers.  No job offers, no job!  You know the rest.

Write a compelling job objective statement in your resume to get noticed

If anyone tells you not to put an objective statement in your résumé, they are completely out of touch with how to get someone's attention in the 21st century.

Now, if your résumé objective statement reads "An interesting position with a growing company," you're stuck in the '50s, and few will pay attention to you.  However, if your résumé objective reads something such as "Computer Technician able to provide technical assistance to computer users in person, by telephone or electronically.  Skilled in the use of computer hardware and software, including printing, installation, word processing, electronic mail, and operating systems.  Seeking a position with a medium sized company in Greater Boston,"  you're going to grab the attention of anyone seeking a qualified Computer Technician.

The key is to know what you want to do, and to state it explicitly.  If you don't know what you want to do, writing a résumé is a distant task.  Clarity in how you will provide value to an employer is essential in getting noticed.  Write a clearly defined job objective and tailor the rest of your résumé to proving you're capable of carrying out your objective. Your résumé WILL be noticed!