Similarities are KeyWhy it’s Critical to Emphasize Similarities

This post was inspired after reading an article on using LinkedIn to help your job search written by Scott Gillum, president of gyro of Washington.

He begins his list of six tips with this one:

Actually read the job description – Hiring managers and HR personnel spend a great deal of time defining the requirements of open positions. Take the time to adapt your resume to highlight those areas that best match what companies are looking for. Don’t make them connect the dots, because they won’t. They’ve already moved on to the next candidate.

I absolutely agree. It is imperative that you customize your resume to the job posting. That means choosing what can be eliminated and ensuring that was is key is left in. You may choose to augment key info with additional context perhaps … your resume may look vastly different or just a wee bit different depending on what is identified in that job posting as required skills, education and experience.

For example, a client that I worked with recently, a new grad with a Master degree in Plant Agriculture, had a two-pronged job search. One was in lab work and the other in leading research projects. These jobs required very different resumes.

The lab work resume must contain key words such as isolation, purification, lab records, collection and analysis of samples, culture, analysis – for a start. Whereas the research lead requires key words such as coordinate projects, collaborate with stakeholders, facilitate planning, costing, implement strategies, project management, consensus-building and so on.

Even in similar jobs, postings can use different language for similar tasks. Rather than building consensus, a job posting may cite the need for collaborative methodologies or overcoming disparity. It’s your job to integrate a job posting’s language into your resume’s content. Why? For two reasons:

1. To align yourself with the organization. Demonstrated your similarity; don’t underscore your differences.

2. To ensure that the Applicant Tracking System, if the company uses one, picks up key words and phrases on your resume, thus allowing your resume to score well and get you picked up as a viable candidate.

That’s what it means to “tweak” your resume and customize your submission. But remember – your content must always be truthful.

You can read Scott’s full article here:

- On a mission to save the world from mediocre resumes, Stephanie

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