Let me ask you a question: if you were the hiring manager for a large software company, would you call someone whose main job experience was in the hospitality industry? Of course not, so why would you expect them to hire you if your resume is completely unrelated?
Customizing your resume to meet the positions requirements is one way to dramatically increase the number of interviews you get. It’s a sad reality that most applicants don’t do this, as it only takes a few minutes of time to do correctly. However, that means that there’s less qualified competition for the job, so make sure that you personalize it for each and every position that you apply for!
Essentially, all you are doing is pairing up related skills with the position. For example, if you are applying for a car sales position, you are going to want to list off experience that shows customer service, retail sales, marketing, and even some psychology. Why? Because all of those skills are needed for you to become successful at the job you’re applying for.
Before you apply for any position, take some time and write down what your skills are. If you were a waiter, for example, you could list organization, customer service, sales, marketing, and promotion as skills, as well as independent operation and self-directed objectives. Once you have a list of these skills, figure out to which positions they are applicable to when you begin applying.
Always put related work experience at the top of the pile, regardless of when it was that you did that particular job. Show any related education, volunteering, or job experience. You want your employer to know that you’ll be able to take on the tasks that they’ve assigned you without having to be completely retrained.
Quick checklist for successful resume personalization:
- Personalize your objective so that it is relevant for the position. If you are applying for a car sales position, say something to the effect of “Objective: To gain employment in automotive sales where I will be able to work around my passion and generate an income at the same time.”
- Place relevant experience and jobs ahead of irrelevant ones. If you want to become a car salesman, your experience as a TV salesman at Best Buy is more relevant than your position as a warehouse laborer.
- Make sure every point on your resume is relevant. It should literally scream “hire me, I’m well qualified”. Everything from related work experience, education, to volunteer work. Whatever you do, do not make stuff up- it has a funny way of being discovered later on, and who knows what the repercussions will be.
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