articles may be the only enjoyable part of my job search! I have two
questions I am hoping you can address for me. I left my career about 9
years ago to be a stay-at-home mom. I have worked part-time in a
professional position in a different field since then. Although this part-time
position complements my original career, it is unrelated. I have tried to
highlight how my part-time position has strengthened my skills as they relate
to my original career (better public speaker, current computer skills,
etc.). There have been several companies with job postings, almost
identical to my former career position, from which I have not received an interview.
I feel it is due to my being out of the field too long. My résumé is tailored
to the company, edited by another person, printed on quality paper, and
professional, yet I’m not getting a response.
I have a hard time writing a one-size-fits-all type of
résumé. I tailor each résumé based on the description for the job. This
takes a lot of time! If I were getting interviews, I would feel it was
worth the time, but I’m not. Any suggestions for this? – Beth
kind words, and I am sorry to hear your job search is not going well. You are
taking the right steps in attempting to sell the transferability of your
part-time engagement. In addition to relating your recent experience to your
current career objective, be sure you are focusing on your experiences that
qualify you for the opportunities you are pursuing. To do this, open your
résumé with a qualifications summary showcasing your past experiences. Use
current job postings to guide the development of this section, ensuring you are
using up-to-date keywords and phrases. In order to not have the experience be
discounted as “dated,” do not note any reference in this summary in regards to
when these experiences occurred.
the next section of your résumé, you will likely want to pull out career
highlights. By doing so, your dates of employment and the professional
experience section will fall to page two of your résumé—a definite
strategy—and, of course, because of their placement on page two, they will play
a lesser role in the screening process. In the career highlights section, you
can focus on past experiences that position you for what you now want to do.
Use this section to highlight achievements, experiences that were particularly
stellar, and skills you developed that are notable to your current goals.
two of your résumé, and the professional experience section, will begin with
your part-time engagement, again playing a much less significant role in the
screening process solely due to the fact it is on page two of your résumé. It
is still important to include your part-time position strategically, selling
the related skills you have developed, your up-to-date technical abilities, and
also that you have maintained involvement in the professional arena.
Positioning and prioritizing your experiences in this manner will help minimize
the impact of a potentially disqualifying factor, while maximizing the weight
of your related skills and experiences.
for your second question of how to create a one-size-fits-all résumé, I have to
steer you away from doing so due to their lack of effectiveness. A résumé that
attempts to speak the language of multiple hiring managers, only results in
presenting diluted content to any given reader, thereby reducing its
effectiveness and the response you receive. Instead, develop a solid
professional experience section and simply tailor the qualifications summary or
a core skills list to each opportunity. When I work with my clients, 90%+ only
need one résumé to accomplish their objective; for those who do need multiple
versions, it is because their secondary or tertiary objective is quite diverse.
You should not need to create a résumé for each position, only a résumé for
each of your objectives. If you can first define the purpose you want to
achieve with your résumé, you will make your job a lot easier down the road. I
fear that the reason you are developing and redeveloping your résumé is really
rooted in the fact that you have not clearly defined your objective, a critical
first step in the development of an effective résumé. Take a look at what you
want to do, define a primary and possibly a secondary or tertiary objective,
and develop sound résumés for each purpose. By taking the time to make sure
each résumé speaks the language of each type of opportunity you are seeking,
you will save time and dramatically improve your results.
for image:This targeted résumé
immediately positions the candidate as a medical billing and coding specialist.
Using prioritization and positioning to her advantage, the 7-second screening
process will include a scan of the qualifications summary and the core skills
list, leading the reader’s eyes to the education section which presents her
recent related certification, adding up to a candidate that appears 100% qualified
for the positions of interest.