A resume is one of the most essential documents you need to have when looking for a job. It’s the document that gets you in the door and gives the employer a sense of who you are. Although thousands of people write their resumes every day, there are very few that know how to create an impactful document that will make a lasting impression and stand out from the crowd. That is why taking the time to plan the details and create a personalised version of your resume for the specific job that you are applying for, can be the winning strategy that will get you to the next stage.
If you have read our previous blog on creating an outstanding resume structure you already know the basics and are ready to go to the next level of your resume development. Here are the steps that you need to follow to get there.
- Research the company you are applying for
The first step in writing an impactful resume is to understand what exactly you’re trying to convey and who the person reading it is. In order to do that, you need to research the company that you are applying for. Start by going to their website and understanding what they are all about. Find out what services or products they offer, what is their business model and what values they cherish as a company. This will help you get a better idea of the work environment and the qualities that they are searching for in their employees, which are things that you can use for emphasis when writing your resume later on.
Another good practice is to try to identify the people that are responsible for the preselection process (usually the recruitment team) and imagine that you are writing your resume for them. This will take out some of the pressure of the unknown and will make your CV sound more personal.
- Understand the job description
Every resume should be tailored to the position being applied for. With this in mind, the obvious next step would be to dive deep into the job description and understand what are the skills and qualities that the employer is looking for for this specific position. A key point here is to go through the whole job description and not only the “Experience and skills required” section, as you may miss out on some ‘hidden’ notes that have been made for the position.
Once you have figured this out, you can then see which of the skills align with your experience and think about projects that put emphasis on them. One good practice that we share with our candidates is to try to use similar language and terms to the ones that have been used in the job description. This will not only help the employer follow your resume more easily, but will also win you some points for knowing the terminology of the job.
- Be yourself
The final and most important step in writing an impactful resume is to be yourself. While you can use some tactics and research to strengthen your CV, you shouldn’t go overboard and write things which are not corresponding to your beliefs. The impact of a resume hides behind the passion and qualities of the person who has written it, so the more candid you are, the greater imprint your CV will leave. This is the way to go even if you don’t have much work experience. The employer can always tell whether you are enthusiastic about the position and in many cases, your desire to develop with the company and do the job will have a bigger impact on you getting the position than stating the facts and figures.
Learning to follow those steps for each job that you are applying for may be time-consuming, but with time you will see that it is definitely worth it. Remember, quality wins over quantity and your time and effort will eventually be rewarded.
Contact us if you have any questions and keep an eye out for our next blog from the “How to prepare for your next job” series.