It’s time; you’re ready to step up to your potential and start the search for hot new career opportunities. You’ve updated your resume, now you’re scanning the job boards daily for new positions that sound like a great fit for your skillset. The moment you spot something compelling, you’re on it, tweaking your resume as needed and uploading it right away.
Then the waiting begins…for a call, a phone screen, an interview request…anything except for the silence these efforts invariably seem to bring.
Suddenly you’re second guessing yourself, your work history, your abilities, and if you’re like many of my clients, your age. I can assure you I’ve helped mid-career clients with some really unique skillsets; Scout Camp Director, Snack Foods Delivery Coordinator and Vehicle Cabin Awareness Product Manager among them. Some of these clients have been close to reaching the 70 year mark, now successfully moving forward on a new career path.
It’s not you. We often assume other people have it right; the perfect relationship, the perfect work history, the perfect resume. I can tell you first hand that’s not true on most counts.
Then what’s up? Why aren’t you getting the responses you’re hoping for from jobs you’re perfectly qualified for?
You got to be scannable. The reality is, for every new job posted, hiring managers and recruiters receive an average of 250 resumes, and the first resume is received within 200 seconds. So you need to act quickly, but that’s not enough. More than 50% of companies rely on Applicant Tracking Software to scan incoming resumes, prioritizing those that best match the job description.
Are you ready to match the right career opportunities with a resume that clicks?
If so, you’ll need to tailor the 50-word opening paragraph known as the summary statement on your resume, so it’s specifically targeted to the position you’re applying for. Your summary statement is an overview of your skills and expertise which you can tailor to include the keywords (that match your experience) to the posted job description. Your summary statement and most recent position are prime real-estate when it comes to the ATS, so that’s where you want to focus.
In order to pass through the ATS, you need to target your resume summary statement to match the job description using this 3 -part strategy:
Step 1: Research your Target Roles
Go to Indeed.com or your favorite job board and search to find title variations for your target roles.
For example, a search for “human resources manager” may return results that include:
- Senior Human Resources Manager
- Human Resources and Payroll Manager
- Human Resources Generalist/Manager
- Bilingual Human Resources Manager
These are 4 different roles.
Step 2: Create a Target Title list
After reviewing the requirements and responsibilities of the roles you find, list the job titles of the roles you plan to focus on below. Keep this Target Title list to roles where you either meet 75% of posted requirements, have a professional connection within the hiring organization, or will meet one or both of these criteria within your target timeframe. Be sure the salary for the position meets your requirements as well.
For example, based on my “human resources manager” search results in Step 1, I may choose to focus on Human Resources Generalist/Manager or Human Resources Generalist, if those are the closest matches to my experience and meet my salary requirements. These are first 2 target titles I’ll add to my list.
Step 3: Generate your Target Title key words
Once I have my target titles, I’ll search my favorite job boards to use to find 2-3 ideal job descriptions for each title. The descriptions don’t need to be current, or necessarily even local, we’re looking for 2-3 that best match your qualifications and interest level. Now copy and paste these “ideal” job descriptions into a Word or text doc. It will be long and not very pretty, but we want content only, format doesn’t matter for this exercise.
Now you’re ready to copy the contents of this job description document, and and paste this copy into a free online keyword tool you can find at www.wordcounter.net. You’ll generate a list of key words in order of priority, based on most frequent use. These are the word you’ll want to prioritize using in your summary statement and most recent job description where your experience matches.
Use this strategy to update your resume summary statement so it’s tailored to each position you apply to, quickly positioning you as the perfect candidate for the job.
For job search tips and strategies for returning to work after a career break, visit Next Career Coaching, and learn more about Career Builder Bootcamps!