Like the rest of the world, resume writing has adapted to the new normal. As we travel into 2022, new methods of working and hiring talent have emerged so we need to grow with the times. According to a study, an average of 537,000 jobs were created each month in 2021, which predicts an amazing start to the new year and going forward. If you are looking for a new job then resume optimization is vital to your success as the job market has become more competitive.
Resume Writing in the Past
As most of us were taught in school, our resume is the time to show off our best skills. With only a few sentences, fragments, and statements we are expected to completely sum up our professional career and sell ourselves to whatever company we are applying for. Typically, many job seekers update their resumes in this way:
- They add their most recent credentials
- They make it chronological
- They worry about the font and formatting
- They add meaningless “fluff” words to sound important
- They fudge a little and claim they’re “detail oriented” when they know they aren’t
Now that hiring practices are different, your approach has to be different as well. Your style of resume writing has to stand out among the traditional slew of paperwork that may be hitting your future employer’s desk. Let’s discuss resume optimization in 2022.
Focus On The Job And Not Yourself
While it is true that your qualifications are important, most employers are looking to fill a specific position. Use your experience to tell a story about how and why you’re perfect for the position. You want to make your manager look great for finding you.
Do more than simply chronologically list your bio, what you did in college, and what clubs you joined. Instead, explain why these credentials are relevant to tp the current position.
Your resume is about what you can do for the company.
Switch from the older method of resume optimization to a more modern approach. Ask yourself, “Why would the recruiter or hiring manager care?”
For example, if you were on the board of a local charter school for 4 years, and you list it as a bullet in your extracurricular activities, this will make the recruiter do most of the work. Instead explain what you did as a board member. Talk about how much money you raised and the programs you developed. How many kids were affected? Information like this is much more valuable to a recruiter.
For every line on your resume ask yourself, “How does this apply to the position?”
Never restrict yourself to your experience but think about how your hiring manager would feel reading your resume. What are your skills and how do they relate to the job?
Do Your Homework and Research
Always do your research before you write your resume. The resumes that stand out mention specific information about the company that they are applying for. Candidates who do their research before the turn in their resume also do well in the interview.
- Start broadly, reading the company’s website and job description.
- Then, use Google to find relevant news articles on the company.
- Next check out existing employees on LinkedIn to see what they have in common.
- Finally, look at competitors – how one company is different from another when you look at their competition?
Any type of research you do can add value to your resume.
Be sure to conduct thorough research about the company so you can include what you learned in your resume. If there is an “About Us” Page check it out and study the qualifications of the other employees. Write down similar skills and experiences that match yours and include them in your cover letter or resume.
The more you know about the company you’re applying to, the greater you can tailor your experience and application.
Tailor Each Resume You Send Out
After you’ve done a considerable amount of research you can begin the process of resume writing. Assemble multiple resumes for multiple companies.
Each job is unique so be sure to customize your resume for the job you want. Tailor your resume according to the things you know are important to that company. Employers can tell if you’re just mass applying to several jobs with a generic resume.
A well researched customized resume will show that you’re a great candidate for the position before you even speak to your employer. It demonstrates that you are intentional, methodical, and deliberate.
For example, an in-house Business Analyst position at a tech company is going to have VERY different expectations of you than a position as a Business Analyst Consultant at a Fortune 500 consulting firm.
For the tech company you’d want to demonstrate relevant experience in being self-sufficient, needing little guidance, and having high risk tolerance. This could mean highlighting side projects you’ve completed or things in which it is obvious you took the initiative.
For the Fortune 500, you’d want to highlight your familiarity with corporate environments, structure and your loyalty. This could mean, for example, long-term commitment to past projects. These companies tend to keep you for a long time and hire from within – so you’d want to show them you’re not looking to jump ship anytime soon.
As you decide what to include in order to appeal to a company, ask yourself:
- What does this company value?
- What kind of people does this company usually hire?
- Is it a conservative company or a more modern one?
- Is the department I’m applying to a conservative department despite the company being non-traditional?
- Does the company value time off and family or external interests?
Resume writing is both an art and a science. The secret to a perfectly optimized resume is having a good strategy.
A strategic resume speaks directly to the hiring manager and shows them exactly what they are looking for. Start by looking at the application and what the particular employer needs then build your resume around it.
Use your experiences, certifications, and education to showcase yourself in a positive light. Remember to make your resume about the job you’re applying for rather than making it about yourself. Take the time to build your resume the right way.
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