For years, we have been advising people to tweak their resume for each job they throw it at. While I think that’s still a valid strategy, I’d like to add one more wrinkle to the process.
Tweak it not just for the job but for the eyes that will be reading it. Sound odd? Not really.
Here are three scenarios: 1) you just had a great networking conversation with someone and they ask you to send your resume 2) you see a great posting and you are asked to respond by email 3) you are on a corporate website and you decide to put your information into their system.
In the first case, the person receiving your resume knows the context in which you are applying. They already have an impression of you and your skills and your resume is confirming and adding detail what they know.
When you respond by email to a posting, chances are your information is being received by a person who is several degrees removed from the actual job. They have been given a list of titles, education and perhaps technical skills to look for and only resumes with the right combination get forwarded to the hiring team. Make sure you match as much as you can between your resume and the job posting because that is what they are looking for.
If your information is going right into a corporate resume pool, then it is wise to load it up with as many keywords as possible because that is how it will float to the job when a search is done.
Also be very clear and specific especially when describing education, certifications and technical skills. You would hate to be overlooked because your resume describes you as a P. Eng and not a member of the Professional Engineers Ontario. If a junior recruiter is doing a search, those types of nuances may be lost on them.
So before you hit the send or apply now button, think about where your resume is going to end up. Think about who is going to look at it and how they will decide if you are the one.