Resumes: The New Exact Match Economy
Not the following:
“I just think it would be great for employers to see how well-rounded I am.”
“There’s so much in my background that would help employers.”
If any of these sound like things you’ve been saying about any of your resumes, it’s time to re-think that strategy.
The cold, hard reality of today’s job market and economy has resulted in employers boiling their employment processes down to the people who BEST FIT THE JOB. Not applicants who offer a universe of diverse skills and backgrounds.
It sounds harsh.
But think of it from their viewpoint. If an employer is hiring for a sales manager, they don’t really care about someone’s additional background in nursing. Unless, of course, there is some way where sales was involved in that nursing job.
The point here is that you have to give the employers what they want. Now.
Forcing them to stumble through the long and often winding road of your work history that really doesn’t tie back to the position for which they are hiring isn’t going to serve you well at all.
In fact, resumes that don’t immediately connect to their needs go right into the garbage can.
This is that pivotal moment in your job search where you have to take the ego (“But I am so wonderful in all of these other areas!”) out of it and draw as close as possible parallels between what they need and what you offer.
Any deviation from that clearly-defined theme will make your document difficult to “connect,” and is at immediate risk of getting tossed.
Instead, shift your thinking to this: What does the employer need?
Concentrating on what you can do to solve that need as specifically as possible will boost your chances of making that vital “hit” on their radar.
Job seekers need to change their employment history section header on their resumes to say “RELEVANT HISTORY” to give the employer the stuff that matters.
Of course, they might be concerned that by only listing relevant jobs, they have created open gaps in their resumes.
To solve this problem, after you’ve listed all the relevant jobs, then create a separate sub-header entitled, “ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND” that includes position titles and companies where you worked, but no dates.
What this does is tell the employer reading job seeker resumes: “Here’s the stuff that you want, and by the way, I have some additional work history. If you want to know more, ask me.”
Remember the “KISS” principle? (Keep It Simple, Stupid)
Distill resumes down into providing the most relevant and “exact match” stuff as possible, and summarize anything else that might muddy the waters.
You’ll have a lot more clarity in your job search, and likely have better employer responses as a direct result!