I have so many job seekers that come into the office with the complaint that they are not getting any calls about their resume. It is time to re-examine what a resume is.
This is how Wikipedia defines a resume.
In many contexts, a résumé is short (usually one to three pages), and directs a reader’s attention to those aspects of a person’s background that are directly relevant to a particular position. Many résumés contain keywords that potential employers are looking for, make heavy use of active verbs, and display content in a flattering manner.
A résumé is a marketing tool in which the content should be adapted to suit each individual job application and/or applications aimed at a particular industry. The transmission of résumés directly to employers became increasingly popular as late as 2002. Job seekers were able to circumvent the job application process and reach employers through direct email contact and résumé blasting, a term meaning the mass distribution of résumés to increase personal visibility within the job market. However the mass distribution of résumés to employers can often have a negative effect on the applicant’s chances of securing employment as the résumés tend not to be tailored for the specific positions the applicant is applying for. It is usually therefore more sensible to adjust the résumé for each position applied for.
The complexity or simplicity of various résumé formats tends to produce results varying from person to person, for the occupation, and to the industry. It is important to note that résumés or CVs used by medical professionals, professors, artists and people in other specialized fields may be comparatively longer. For example, an artist’s résumé, typically excluding any non-art-related employment, may include extensive lists of solo and group exhibitions. Interestingly, when employers review a résumé they typically only spend ten to fifteen seconds, therefore the top half of a résumé is the prime real estate for important information.
Let’s take this definition and break it down a bit. The resume is your marketing tool; it gives the reader a brief glance at your career/work history. It has to be specific or tailored to each position that you apply for. A general resume that does not show transferrable skills or past experience to a specific position is useless. I will say that again, the resume is inadequate if it does not show that you have the skills to perform a specific position.
So how do you tailor the resume to a position?
Take the job description that is in the advertisement or a general one that you find on the internet and make sure that all of your skills, direct or transferable are on your resume. It should mirror what the job description is. Please do not copy word for word, but be creative, use descriptive words and ensure that the resume is accurate and truthful.
Provided you have taken the time to tailor your resume for the specific job you are looking for, you should start to see some results.