Resume writing is a place where “jack of all trades, master of none” is very accurate. If you try to make your resume appealing to every situation, it almost always backfires. You’ll end up with a weak and ineffective personal sales pitch.
Identify Target Roles and Job Titles Before Resume Writing
Most important: work backward from the desired end result. That’s the way to go. When you’re resume writing, you need to know your target job titles. That’s the only way you’ll produce a strong sales pitch.First, look through job postings and compile a list. Note all the different titles that might describe the similar roles. Check out LinkedIn, job boards like Indeed, websites of companies you’re interested in, and job titles of other people you know.
You’re looking for relevant job descriptions, not necessarily ones you’re actually going to apply to. For this part of resume writing, location doesn’t even matter.
Figure Out Relevant Keywords, Skills, and Desired Experience
Second, as you review each job posting, figure out the most important things employers are looking for. Then combine your insights from all the postings into a master list of common areas of interest. This should be your starting point for resume writing. Make sure that your resume addresses as many of these areas as possible.
However, be careful. You can go overboard with trying to artificially stuff too many keywords in your resume. Make sure that skills, keywords, and qualifications are given in context. You don’t just want a list of skills. This is one way a professional resume writer will help you set yourself apart from other candidates.
Phil Hurd is a Nationally Certified Resume Writer (NCRW), Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Nationally Certified Online Profile Expert (NCOPE). He specializes in creating resumes, LinkedIn profiles, biographies, and cover letters for executives and individual contributors in all functions in technology-oriented industries.
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