Employers and recruiters typically spend 3-5 seconds scanning a resume before putting it in one of the 2 piles: the shortlist and the noes. A targeted resume typically has a greater chance at being in the shortlist pile than a generic resume. By tailoring your resume to the finance or accounting job you’re after, it accentuates your skills that are most relevant. This is the key benefit in having a targeted resume that meets the specific requirements of the job. A generic resume simply cannot sell your best assets that are relevant to the job you want!
Below are 5 simple steps to help you write a targeted resume:
STEP 1 –
Study the job advertisement closely and highlight key words. Break the key words into 3 buckets: company, role, person i.e. the type of individual they are looking to hire. Aim to include as many of the key words you identify in your resume as possible.
STEP 2 –
Identify key skills this role requires, using information in the ‘role’ bucket that you highlighted in Step 1. Be sure to first highlight these key skills in your resume under a section called ‘Key Skills’. Secondly, it is important to find evidence in previous roles, studies or extra curricular activities that support your claim to the key skill.
STEP 3 –
Apply the same approach in Step 2 for personal attributes the job requires. If it asks for someone with ‘can-do’ attitude, be sure to include supporting evidence that demonstrates your ‘can-do’ attitude in the resume.
STEP 4 – optional, but can get you bonus points
Research the company (if you know the hiring company). Yes, do it now – before you even get asked to attend an interview. Read up on its company vision, mission and core values. Ask yourself if you believe in their vision and if their values resonate with your own set of values – it’s also important from a cultural fit point of view to only apply to roles that align with your own values. If so, be sure to name a few of these key values in your resume. [See our blog on ‘6 ways to check if the company is a right fit for you’]
STEP 5 –
Check that everything is consistent and coherent. By now your resume should highlight your key skills that correspond to the job requirement. It should also call out personal attributes about you that fit their candidate profile. It’s very important to make sure the themes are consistent from page to page, and there is no conflicting information in the rest of the resume to thwart your efforts. This is critically important for a finance person – we have to demonstrate attention to detail!
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By adopting these 5 simple steps, your resume should be a custom fit to the role you’re going for. A well-written, relevant and targeted resume is a pleasure to read for many employers and recruiters. Hopefully, your new resume will get you noticed and shortlisted before long!