Preparing a resume for your prospective audience

The Resume: Who Are You Talking To?

by Stephen Baker

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Welcome back job seekers! Raise your right hand and say aloud, "I am a piece of paper. I can not speak. I can not answer questions. If I am boring and do not connect with the hiring manager, I will always be a piece of paper that no one will read." So now that we have the proper mindset, let us talk about whom you are having a conversation with.

This is how people typically get a job. One reads the job description and sends in the resume. The hiring manager reads the resume and the conversation begins. The hiring manager likes what he/she reads and schedules an interview.

Your future employer only knows his/her own world. In their industry, they only speak a certain language. They prefer certain words, training, certifications, seminars, and sushi. Ok, I made that last one up. Your job is to know that world and your resume has to "talk the talk." I once had a presentation with an advertising firm. I used words like "big picture," "whimsy," "experience," and "sales." The following week I met with engineers and used words like "analysis," "factor," and "results." Your resume has to be from their world because you will not be afforded the opportunity to talk. You will not be able to answer the question, "Are you like me?" Your resume must do that for you.

Here are a few tips to get your resume industry ready:

  1. Ask someone in the industry you are applying to review your resume.
  2. Do not ask your family to review your resume unless they are in that industry.
  3. Ask a friend who has no problem telling you that your breath stinks. (We all have one of those, and if you do not, you should brush your teeth now.)
  4. Do not ask your coworkers unless they are anything like your friend from number three. By the way, people like number three are usually self-employed.
  5. Get on the Internet and look through various industry-related websites. Examine frequent terms, sayings, positions, goals, ambitions, and challenges.
  6. Use words and terms listed in the job posting.

Stephen Baker is a Program Director with 15 years of experience in the Fortune500. Over the years, he has been on both sides of the job hunt and offers straight advice on improving one's chances with getting that first interview. You can find more of Stephen's work at The Topeka Examiner.

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