We all have submitted a resume and never received an answer back. Here are four ways to increase your probability of getting a positive response, not just a “thank you” note.
Think of the targeted job as a bulls-eye with a series of 3 concentric rings around it. Your resume should land in the first or second ring when comparing the organization’s requirements to your experiences. Anything outside of ring 3 and your chances are reduced to near zero. Here are the 4 ways to get an employer’s attention:
1- TARGETING – Make sure that your resume comes reasonably close to what the employer is looking for in the job opening. If they’re looking for 10 years experience and you only have 3 years, don’t waste everyone’s time. If they’re looking for past supervisory experience and you have none, don’t try to finesse your way. List the 4 or 5 key search criteria, then document your parallel experiences to showcase your ability to do the job.
2- ALIGNMENT – Align your past results with the solutions that the hiring manager is looking for in a candidate. The hiring manager has key tactical issues that need to be solved in the short term, and strategic issues for the longer term. Through research, find out what the issues are, and then focus your resume on those items. Usually there are 2 or 3 in number. If you nail them on your resume you can increase your chances to be interviewed. Why? Because the hiring manager wants to find out how you solved the issues he needs fixed, by someone who has done it before.
3- DEFINE WORTH – Demonstrate that you’re worth their investment through your resume. How do you do that? Make sure your resume defines the measureable results you have achieved rather than only list the responsibilities of your function. If you look at most resumes they are narrative descriptions of the functions performed and not the outcome of performance. Without some definition of results, everyone’s resume will read the same. The hiring manager has no way to differentiate you from the pack. Give the hiring manager what is needed. Define your measureable results.
4- RESULTS – Emphasize your flexibility, teamwork and results, either through your words or accomplishments. Use words that will translate into positive attributes that the hiring manager is looking for, like: “Led a team of high performance managers tasked with solving an unprofitable product line. We stopped the negative cash flow and increased revenue by X% and profit margins XX% within 9 months.” Use the word “I” less and the word “we” more. Demonstrate teamwork.
Your resume is a word-picture of you and what you can achieve for the hiring manager. Use it to paint the picture the hiring manager is looking for, not one that you want to paint.