Is Your Resume Focused Enough?
Most resumes we have seen fail because the applicant is simply not focused enough for us to know what they are really good at and what they really want to do. This guide will help you get focused, which is what the hiring manager needs to see before he decides to call you in for an interview.
Let’s take a break here and make sure you’re on the right career path. Most resumes go wrong because they lack focus. So let’s not let that happen to you.
How hard was it for you to come up with a Job Title? (pick one)
- You knew exactly what Job Title to put at the top
- You had 2 or 3 Job Titles in mind and you had to choose one
- You had a long list of possible Job Titles to choose from
- You had a tough time selecting a Job Title, there are so many things you could do
If you answered items 1 or 2, you are at least moderately focused or better.
If you answered 3 or 4, you need much better focus. You aren’t sure what type of job you want.
Near perfect alignment is critical
To get an interview, your resume has to be in “near perfect alignment” with the position the hiring manager is trying to fill. Otherwise he is not going to read your resume and you are not going to get a call.
This doesn’t mean you aren’t capable of doing great work once you get the job. It just means that for some reason you aren’t focused enough. You must get focused. You must know exactly what it is you want to do.
Why? You want to be perceived as the strongest choice for the job. The candidate who is the most focused and has the best alignment wins every time.
Don’t cause confusion
Many people, especially those further along in their careers, have the curse of being able to do many different types of work. This confuses your potential employer. Be selective. Tell him exactly what you can do for his company.
Be very clear about what Job Title you are looking for
We see several career coaching clients at CareerPlanner.com who are not focused. Their resumes send out the message “Look at me. I can do all these things. Here is the list of what I can do. You figure out where I might fit.”
For example: One client’s resume said that he could do real estate sales, real estate development, drywall, machining and more. Can you see how this is confusing? Especially since there was no job title listed at the top. It was impossible to tell what type of job this person was looking for.
Fortunately, this individual knew enough to call us
Our 1-Hour Career Jump-Start Session helped him discover what he really wanted to do with his life. During the session, we uncovered the client’s favorite job: Customer Service Manager at very large electronics company.
This position was not even on his resume. The client left it off because he thought it would help hide his age, since this was one if his earlier jobs. But when we talked about this job, the client came alive. He got excited talking about his accomplishments.
It turned out that all the other jobs were distractions
He had fallen of his career path like so many people do. He became distracted by all the people making money in real estate and he went off on a tangent. When we asked if he would like to go back into customer service, the light bulb went on. The resounding answer was, “Yes, of course!”
Needless to say, we dropped the dry wall and machinist activities from the resume. The job title and objective on his resume now reads:
Job Title = Customer Service Manager
Objective = Looking for a management position in Customer Service.
He went on to find a customer service position.
Not sure what you want to do?
Many people we see in our career coaching practice have had very successful careers. But a bad economy and loss of jobs to other countries forced them to look outside their normal job market. Career-wise, they’ve been dislocated by a bad economy much like people are dislocated after a natural disaster.
When your career has been dislocated or disrupted, what job title should you be searching for? It’s harder to figure out exactly what it is you can do. This is especially true for people who have left the job market for a few years to raise children or take care of elderly relatives.
Look at your skill set and talents
Where in today’s job market you can apply them? Unfortunately, this discovery is hard to do by yourself. There are no computer programs to do this for you. If you’re struggling, we suggest our 1-Hour Career Jump Start to help.
Now on to the Silver Bullet section of your resume…
"How To Write The Perfect Resume,
A Resume Writing Guide, Complete With Resume Templates"
Page Number 24-25-26