Before it closed last year in anticipation of a move to its new home, I took my son to The Four Seasons Restaurant in New York for lunch. One of the owners, Alex, is an old friend and my son and I hadn’t been back to New York for a few years since moving to North Carolina. Everything came together beautifully.
We sat at the bar with Alex and ordered lunch. The appetizer arrived for each of us. My son looked at it.
We ate it, an entrée and dessert and each time he exclaimed how wonderful each item looked and tasted.
Each dish was beautifully prepared, plated and presented with a discerning eye to how a guest would receive it.
When an employer asks for a menu to order a new hire, s/he is not looking for a Quarter Pounder or Big Mac. They want something aesthetically beautiful that delights just like my son was delighted by each dish.
They want something special.
Is every job description you read the same? No.
Is every job you submit your resume to the same? Of course, they aren’t.
If all these job descriptions are different, why do you submit the same resume as though you are flipping burgers at a fast food restaurant?
Every day, people send the same generic resume out as though each position was identical and each employer was attempting to hire identical skills and attributes. Too often, the results they receive are like the broken watch that is right twice a day—hit or miss success.
They list their name, phone numbers and email address, list an objective, education, and chronology of experience with dates of employment. The resume includes some successes or accomplishments. This is their resume.
In the days prior to computers when changing a resume required you to re-type different versions, this made sense. Today, when computers allow you to customize, spell and grammar check documents so easily, you are missing out on opportunities and costing yourself money by being lazy and not tailoring your resume for each opportunity you are interested in. You are not serving a beautiful meal. You are preparing a Quarter Pounder!
Here are several steps that you can do to improve your resume and get better results.
1. Each employer will be interested in different attributes of your experience. They often indicate it by the items they describe in their job ad or the recruiter described to you. Emphasize the experiences that you have that relate to the skills being sought and the functions you will perform in the job they will ask you to perform. If you are applying for a staff position, emphasize your staff experience and minimize your management experience. If you are being hired to be a leader, write about your recent leadership.
2. Employers are more interested in recent work, rather than work you did many years ago. Use more space in your resume to highlight recent experience, rather than things you did before Barack Obama became President.
3. Like setting a goal where you make them specific, measurable, achievable within a specific period of time, describe your successes or achievements concretely. Reducing costs is a nice start but it is more powerful to describe something as reducing operational costs globally by 2%. Increased departmental sales by 27% resulting in . . . You get the idea. Use action verbs wherever possible
4. Ask someone you trust to critique what you’ve written. Too often, people believe that they can do everything by themselves without asking for help. Ask a friend in your industry to critique what you’ve written to insure you’re on target and aren’t missing the mark.
“But this is a great car!”
“And I want a sports car..”
Every day, job hunters try to sell minivans to sports car owners. Their resume in no way, shape or form fits the requirement and they become indignant at not hearing anything from the employer or recruiter.
You’ve served them a Quarter Pounder when they wanted something special.
One more thing. If you follow these instructions, you will feel better about yourself, lose 25 pounds instantly and take 3 inches off your waist. The growing hair stuff is wishful thinking on my part.
© The Big Game Hunter, Inc. Asheville, NC 2017
If you liked this article, read, “Should I Stay or Should I Go. Playing ‘The Counteroffer Game'”
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves life coaching, as well as executive job search coaching and business life coaching. He is the host of “Job Search Radio,” “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice.”
Are you interested in 1:1 coaching or interview coaching from me? Email me at [email protected] and put the word, “Coaching” in the subject line.
JobSearchCoachingHQ.com offers great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions.
You can order a copy of “Diagnosing Your Job Search Problems” for Kindle for $.99 and receive free Kindle versions of “No BS Resume Advice” and “Interview Preparation.”