You would think employers would welcome a wide variety of skills listed on your resume. Surely a resume filled with a multitude of skills and experience would enable employers to use you flexibly across a range of areas and would be appealing right? More is more, isn’t it?
Unfortunately this isn’t always the case.
When recruiters or HR personnel are looking to fill a position they have a brief that they have been given by the employer and they are looking to find the perfect match. What they want is a resume that screams a fit for that brief.
If the employer has stated he or she wants a safety manager with 5+ years experience in the mining industry and a degree in OH&S, they are looking for a resume that resonates with just that. Ideally they are scanning through the hundreds of resumes in their databank to find a safety manager who has worked in the resources industry and quickly and solidly tick all these boxes.
When they are searching through the pile of resumes on file they are not looking for extra, more or different. Not a professional with training, quality, safety, retail and inventory experience but instead someone who appears to fill the brief perfectly. ‘Jack of all trades, master of none’ is the biggest downfall in a resume.
So what can you do to avoid this?
- Spend time before each application targeting and tweaking your resume to match the application.
- Shine the light on relevant skills and experience.
- Minimize distracting information that simply draws their attention from the important content.
- Make sure your opening profile area succinctly summarizes your value proposition relevant to the employer. Cover off all your key selling points that match their advertised requisites, with a focus on keeping it succinct and compelling.
- Include a key expertise area with dot points of your relevant (emphasize again relevant) skills
- Consider removing any information that is superfluous, but not at the expense of leaving gaps in your employment history. A lot of resumes fail not because they didn’t include the relevant information but because it was drowned out by so much other information.
- Consider removing non-relevant education or professional development activities. If you are applying for a safety position, your Basketball coaching accreditation is probably not needed and can be left off so you have room for more important resume points.
- Strengthen up your achievements to make it easy for the reader to find evidence of your success using the relevant skills they are seeking. Use bolded bullet headings to make these easy to find. For example:
- Safety Audits: Designed a new safety audit process that visibly increased safety awareness and risk identification and cut workplace incidents from five a week to zero for the past 10 months.
- Take advantage of new resume scanning technologies such as JobScan to analyse your resume content against the advertisement keywords to assist you to navigate employer’s applicant tracking systems.
Remember your resume is not an all-encompassing list of everything you have done in your life but a tailored document aimed at translating to the employer why you are a fit for their role and can bring them value.