State what’s important up front on your résumé; don’t make the employer hunt for your qualifications

I wonder if this is a guy thing; but when I’m looking for something in my house—keys, salt, the TV remote, or mustard, to name a few—I like to know exactly where to find them. Every second it takes to locate an item seems like wasted effort, a drain on my mind. And when my wife tells me to look for a wanted item, I think to myself, why can’t she just tell me where it is? She had the remote last. And I know she knows that I know she knows where it is. To me, it’s like some twisted game. To her, I’m being lazy and need to learn to hunt.

It’s not a guy thing when an employer looks at a résumé and expects to find up front verification that you meet the job requirements. It’s an employer thing. Now, more than ever, the employer has less patience with disorganized résumés. She doesn’t want to search throughout the résumé only to find at the end of it that you indeed have the necessary skills and experience she is looking for.

As a matter of fact, the employer wants to see verification of the required skills prominently highlighted in your Summary Statement. The opening sentence in the job ad reads: You will be responsible for writing the company’s newsletter. (Note: the job ad should be written to indicate the employer’s main priorities in mind.) The following requirement is: This exciting position requires excellent written and verbal communication skills.

Your Summary Statement leads with: Authored the company’s electronic newsletter which was distributed to customers, partners, and the media. Having read the job ad with the employer’s priorities in mind, you modify your Summary Statement to reflect said priorities.

The next thing the employer wants to see on the résumé is proof of job-related accomplishments in the Work History. You write: Authored and disseminated the company’s electronic newsletter, which was consistently distributed on a monthly basis; increased readership by 50% in that time period; and generated an increase of sales by approximately 30% on a yearly basis. 

A complete tailored résumé. Modifying the Summary Statement is not simply enough; it’s also important to show job-related accomplishments throughout your résumé. By prioritizing your resume you’re showing the employer that you understand the nature of the job and are more than capable of taking on the responsibilities with success.

Finding the TV remote isn’t exactly on par with finding the right candidate to interview, but to me being told exactly where it is makes my life just a little easier. (“Where is it exactly,” are words I’ve uttered.) Employers want jobseekers to make their lives a little easier by connecting the dots. Trust me.

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About Things Career Related
Bob McIntosh, CPRW, is a career trainer who leads more than 17 job search workshops at an urban career center. Jobseekers and staff look to him for advice on the job search. In addition, Bob has gained a reputation as a LinkedIn authority in the community. Bob’s greatest pleasure is helping people find rewarding careers in a competitive job market. Follow Bob on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/bob_mcintosh_1 and LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/bobmcintosh1

3 Responses to State what’s important up front on your résumé; don’t make the employer hunt for your qualifications

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