The ABC’s of Resume Writing | “N” is for NARROW

N: NARROW your focus before writing your resume.

Across the nation, there are more than 14 million people unemployed and looking for work. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the current unemployment rate for June sits at 9.2 percent. That means that for any job opportunity, hundreds and even thousands of people are submitting resumes and applications. Oftentimes, many of the clients are not qualified or are only loosely qualified for the position. Why is this? At some point during the job search, desperation sets in; severance may be running out and bills are coming due.

Most job applicants figure that casting a wide net will land them more opportunities, but in this economy, less is definitely more. Before sitting down to write your resume, consider narrowing your focus to broaden your chances of success.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Seriously. If you are in career transition, have you given thought to what you would like to do in your next career? Simply applying for jobs in your “line of work” may not be the best strategy for you, especially if you did not particularly like this line of work or if this line of work is no longer in demand. The best way to assess where to go next is to take a career assessment test. There are tons of such tests, so try Google to find a suitable one or speak with a career coach that can make a recommendation. By taking a career assessment, you can gain insight into the types of positions that you would be good at based on your interests and skills. This information is invaluable as it will either confirm your current career aspirations or point you in a new direction for career exploration. Either way, you can then focus your resume around your career goal and begin researching and applying for positions that are a good match.

A one-size resume does not fit all.

Once you have a focus and career goal and have begun developing your resume, it is still important to remember that you will need to customize your resume for each opportunity that you apply for. Again, with 14 million people out of work, you will be competing with hundreds of job applicants, some with more experience than you and some with less. Tailoring your resume will allow you to show the employer only the skills, experience, and qualifications that they are interested in as opposed to submitting a generic resume and hoping that they can figure this out. Remember, the goal of the resume is to generate interviews and the goal of the interview is to convince the employer that you are the best candidate for the job.

So funnel down your career objective to open up opportunities. It may sound counter-intuitive but it really is the best strategy to find a job in today’s economy.

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