Resume Isn't About You; It's About Making a Connection to the Targeted Employer


We invited 15 of the top career and job-search experts — our Quintessential Careers Career Masterminds — to share their advice with our readers as part of Quint Careers’s 15th anniversary. We asked them (among six other questions): What are the most common strategic mistakes you see on job-seeker resumes? (See all their responses here.) We’re running a series of responses; here’s one of them: QC-15th-year-logo.jpg Most job-seekers don’t realize one important fact: the resume really isn’t about them; it’s about making a connection to the targeted employer. Most people don’t completely understand this key strategy. Instead, they incorporate materials not relevant to their audience and hope potential employers will read between the lines to identify their qualifications.

Since most resumes are either evaluated by an Applicant Tracking System — a computer that scans for key words — or are visually scanned for 10-20 seconds by a busy recruiter or hiring manager, if you don’t make it clear why you are perfect for the job, you don’t stand much of a chance at landing an interview.

It’s not difficult to target a resume. Find keywords in the job description and in the organization’s Website. Focus on job requirements and make it clear you have what it takes to solve the employer’s problems. Incorporate skills, accomplishments, and results in your resume; don’t just write a laundry list of “stuff” you’ve done. Always consider the employer’s perspective. Will he or she know why you are a good fit based on your resume? If not, revise your materials.
      — Miriam Salpeter