Write a Resume That Positions You as the Perfect Fit
In today’s job market employers want specialists—industry experts—instead of “generalists”. The burden is on the candidate’s shoulders to convince the employer they’re the best choice. How can you do that, though, when what one company is seeking varies from another or when the positions you want are not the same? Employers want to see that you’re the best fit—and you can show them you are by making connections in three key areas: experience/expertise, process, and values.
PROCESS IS IMPORTANT
When a client contacts me about needing help with their resume, their questions are typically about how my process works and my experience/expertise in my industry. We use a process that involves a telephone consultation instead of a questionnaire, our standard turnaround time for a resume is 3-5 business days versus several weeks or a month, and we work one-on-one with our clients through the entire process. These three things demonstrate how my process works. Clients are either drawn to how my process works or they’re not. We don’t try to be the perfect fit for EVERY client and not every job seeker is our client. But we do seek to serve clients who prefer to work via telephone, who do not want to complete lengthy worksheets/questionnaires, who have a hard time writing about themselves, and who are short on time and cannot afford to wait weeks or months for their documents.
My process appeals to a certain type of job seeker. Your process for doing what you do will appeal to a specific type of employer. Find the employers who are a good fit for how you work, the method you use to do what you do so successfully—or seek out employers who would benefit from your process and the way you do what you do. Make sure your resume and cover letter speak to this process and how it connects to a need the employer is currently facing. You always want to make the connection between what you do (your process) and how it meets their need or benefits them.
MAKING THE CONNECTION WITH EXPERIENCE
Related experience—or even expertise—is another important key to showing you’re the perfect fit for a position. When I’m searching for new resume writers to add to my staff, there are specific levels of experience and a certain expertise that I look for in a candidate. For example, I find that some of the best writers, who are able to hit the ground running, have an industry certification such as ACRW, CARW, or CPRW. They also typically have 5+ years of experience writing resumes, they come with MANY positive testimonials and client feedback to support the quality of the resumes they produce, and most of them track the success rate of their clients and their ability to get interviews. These factors combine to show me that a writer has the right experience/expertise to be a valuable addition to my staff.
How can you show the employer—with PROOF—that you have the right experience/expertise to meet their needs? Consider what’s most important to that employer in relation to the position you’re applying to, and then speak to how your previous experience or current expertise can benefit them.
Use examples of past challenges—how you addressed them and the outcomes—to provide proof that you have the experience they need.
DON’T UNDERESTIMATE VALUES
Company culture is an aspect that job seekers far too often overlook when they’re writing cover letters and resumes. I think sometimes we get so focused in on incorporating the right keywords or having numbers and accomplishments to tout that we overlook the fact that the company size and/or the company culture are also areas where we need to address fit. I’ll give you an example here too: My company is a golden rule organization, which means we endeavor to treat our clients the way we would want to be treated if we were working with someone on a new resume. It resonates in our every interaction with clients—and it’s important to me that I hire resume writers with the same values. If I’m focused on offering exceptional client care in a genuine and authentic way, and if I believe that what we do is a way to serve others, and that the weight of the service that we offer our clients is to be taken very seriously and humbly—then I want to seek out others who share this same mindset.
It would not benefit me or my clients to bring on a writer who couldn’t care less about the job seekers whose resumes they’re writing or whether or not they get their dream job. No, I want writers who are invested in my clients’ success—invested in the process—and see how what we do is a service to those who need our expertise.
Don’t underestimate your value system, the WHY behind what you do and what drives your passion for your client, customer, or employer. Answering the why will become an important part of your personal brand and differentiate you from your competition. Don’t be afraid to share your why in your cover letter and in your LinkedIn profile.
Author: Jessica Holbrook Hernandez