Top resume tip! Tailoring your resume to get a job

Tuesday 18 June, 2013
HopingToGetThatJobInAustralia-51162 Image source: Employers can receive hundreds of resumes from a vast range of skilled candidates for one job position. How do you make your resume sing and stand out from the crowd? The first and most important step is to tailor or edit your resume to fit the job description. Gone are the days where generic CV's are accepted. Today, it's too easy to make those slight adjustments to a resume and there really is no excuse why a job seeker shouldn't embrace the process. So how do you adjust your resume? First, here is an example of an online job advertisement: -------------------------------------------------------------------- Pacific Magazines SENIOR FEATURES WRITER - THAT'S LIFE Pacific Magazines is looking for an experienced Senior Features Writer to join the team at that's life! magazine, Australia's number one weekly, real life title. Do you have a great eye for a story? Do you have a proven track record of securing the best, exclusive real life stories against furious competition? Can you write clean, legally sound copy in an emotive, first person style? Reporting to the Features Editor you will be responsible for chasing and securing the best Australian real life stories as well as interviewing and writing them. For this role you will need: • Demonstrated experience as a senior journalist. • An ability to identify great story leads from newspapers and other sources and secure exclusive interviews with great coverline potential. • A talent for generating original and creative story ideas. • A good knowledge of current affairs and news. • The skills necessary to develop and maintain a network of informants and freelancers who can deliver great story leads. • High attention to detail and accuracy. • To be able to prioritise work and meet deadlines. • Editing experience is desirable but not essential. If you have extensive experience in a similar role on a magazine or newspaper features desk, please apply by sending through your cover letter, CV, and five feature ideas suitable for That's Life! Applications close 21 June 2013. -------------------------------------------------------------------- In this example, the words in bold are the key skill-set areas and experience that the employer will want to see on your resume. Sometimes an employer will also specify what type of person they require, for example, 'outgoing', 'motivated', 'persistent' or 'willing to learn', and these are also important to note. To begin with, the publication is looking for an experienced feature writer. Experience generally means NOT a graduate and with at least five years of writing under your belt. Many job applications will specify what level of experience a role needs and it is usually one of the main criteria of whether your resume will be successful or not. In most cases, unless you have the required experience it is probably best not to submit a resume. What works is to address this category in a cover letter and include the key words. Let the employer know straight away that you have what they need with a sentence such as 'I'm applying for this position at Pacific as I have five years experience as a feature writer at and want to '. Secondly, in the example, the employer is looking for someone with a proven track record for finding creative stories and a writer who is able to develop these stories into emotive yet legally sound copies. A proven track record can generally be acknowledged by showcasing your past work in a portfolio or by including references who the employer can contact to ensure you have what it takes. Otherwise, this is where you list your past experience to highlight that you have what the employer needs. It's important not to simply mention your past duties at your previous workplace. Only include those tasks which are relevant to the current position you are applying for. You mustn't lie about what you have or haven't done. It's more of a matter of making what's important sing off the page. For example: Local City News (newspaper) 2007-2012 Journalist - Responsible for sourcing interesting and creative daily news stories for the Human Interest and Our Life sections - Writing clear yet emotive articles to strict deadlines daily - Establishing new contacts within different industries and organizations and maintaining these contacts for further use in other stories - Contributing to the Features Section on a weekly basis by proposing new story ideas and following these ideas through by writing accurate, legally sound and interesting articles As you can see, in this example, the job seeker has demonstrated that they have the traits that the employer wants to see. Another important tip is to try and outline in the cover letter what you as a job seeker could bring to the company or business that you are applying for. Too often a resume is all about the employee but a job seeker needs to remember that the work you will contribute needs to contribute to the benefits of the entire company. Don't forget to include what the employer needs from the applicant. In this case a cover letter, CV and a list of feature ideas is required. Lastly, don't be afraid to ring the contact on the advertisement to find out more about the position before you actually apply for the job. That way you have the advantage of potentially knowing some extra details or desirable traits that the employer wants and can edit your resume to suit what they need. To begin applying for jobs, check out OneShift and view the latest employment opportunities.
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