If you want your résumé pulled from the databases and read with serious attention, it’s common knowledge that it needs to focus on the skills you bring to a single target job. However, employers still want to know about your supporting skills.
For example a colleague and hiring manager in the IT world says, “ I don’t just want to see evidence that someone is a hotshot in say, the .NET Framework; I also want to see that they can get around with other languages, so that I know (a) that they understand programming as distinct from just .NET, and (b) that if my company introduces a new programming language/development environment in the future, I have someone who will be able to handle that with ease.”
To satisfy these understandable needs, your resume must nevertheless
1. Be data-dense enough, with that data focused on the “must have” skills of the job to get your résumé ranked high enough in database searches. A recruiter will not read your résumé unless it ranks in the top 20 of that recruiter’s database search; because twenty résumé is about as deep as they ever go.
2. No one enjoys screening résumé, and the process is initially visual, in that recruiters scan a résumé for key content and will naturally favor those résumé where the layout enables a reader to rapidly access key information.
These factors contribute to the need for your résumé to have a laser focus on a target job: the résumé’s goal is to get you into conversation and if it speaks clearly and succinctly to capabilities as described in your analysis of Job Postings it will do so. This approach is proven and it is the default starting point for a productive résumé.
You can still get this important supporting skills information into your résumé, without taking up too much room, by using a Core Competencies section. This will come at the front of your résumé, after contact information, your Target Job Title and any Performance Profile or Summary.
The Core Competencies section is a simple list of all the skills that you bring to the job. You’ll start with those skills most important to your Target Job; but you can also add all those skills, that support your all-around professionalism.
Here’s an example of a Core Competencies section from an operations management resume:
Professional Core Competencies
|Strategic Business Planning||Project Management||Cross-Functional Team Building|
|IT/IS||Human Resource Issues||Employee Benefits|
|Risk Management||Hiring, Training & Coaching||Negotiations|
|Research & Analysis||Financial Modeling||Business Modeling|
|Portfolio Management||Acquisitions & Divestitures||Policies & Procedures|
Adding a Core Competencies section to the front end of your résumé and then repeating those same words in the context of the jobs in which they were used has two major benefits
- It’s a concise review of all the hard skills you bring to the table and is a real attention grabber to a recruiter
- It multiplies the occurrence of keywords likely to be used by recruiters in the database searches and will dramatically improve your resume‘s ranking