When you are looking for a job, the temptation is to draft and send your resume as quickly as possible in hopes to start receiving some interview invitations. However, such an approach has proved to be quite unsuccessful as job seekers rarely received any feedback from employers. The reason is the poor quality of resumes submitted as a result of quick writing efforts. But "quick" doesn't work very well when it comes to career and resume writing. In fact, it is quite the opposite. In order to prepare and submit a job application that will result in interviews, job seekers have to spend way more than several hours on getting it all right. More than that, we believe that even before developing a resume one has to do several things to ensure a smooth writing process. Maybe job seekers have never thought about it but there is actually the list of things they should do BEFORE resume writing (it will actually save time + will more likely bring interview invites in future).
What Can Job Seekers Do Before Resume Writing Activities?
The problem of many job seekers is that they want pretty much anything they can get. They are interested in salaries more than in position and, therefore, they apply for all job openings they come across. But in this case, with your resume being so generic you will unlikely be able to get your foot in the interview doors. It is much more effective if you narrow down your job search to a specific position(-s). What can help you identify the jobs you may want to go after is some research as to how your knowledge, experience, and skills can translate to a certain career. Understanding the jobs you will be writing your resume for as well as the requirements for those positions should help you personalize your application package to reflect the pursued positions.
After you narrow down your job search efforts to specific careers, ask yourself whether you know someone who works in this area. Such people can help you by giving valuable advice on what companies in this field expect in terms of resumes and applicants' skill set. It may come as a surprise but many job openings are never published online - this is where industry professionals you know can also help you. If you don't know anyone, we recommend joining networking groups as well as professional associations. It is important to make such connections and build relationships with people in your field - this will definitely pay off either now or in the long run. Networking and good connections are to help job seekers understand what employers are looking for in a candidate.
The truth of the matter is that a good share of resume writing is about eliminating irrelevant information and highlighting the accomplishments that prospective employers would be interested in. The key is to identify the key requirements and focus on them in your resume. Each job will have its own requirements so job seekers have to tailor their resumes to every job opening they apply for. You can use job postings as a guide to help you understand what needs to be on the document. Usually, online job postings contain information about the qualifications and skills required for the job. Studying this section first should help you decide what should you concentrate on when writing your resume. Lastly, if you really want to make a difference between you and other candidates you have to work on success indicators (if you are an experienced professional). In every field and profession, there are some benchmarks that every employee wishes to achieve. The objective of job seekers then is to know what these benchmarks are in order to build up an effective resume. This will allow you listing relevant achievements on your resume and cover letter, thus increasing your chances of getting invited for an interview.