5 Questions Job Seekers Should Ask When Crafting an On-Target Resume

In many cases, the old, one-size-fits-all resume just won't cut it anymore. The market is tough out there. Recruiter inboxes are overflowing with hopeful applicants. Hiring Managers in many cases are spoilt for choice. 

The good news for diligent applicants? A lot of the applications that come in for roles are… terrible. You see a lot as a recruiter, but one thing that always shocks me is how so many people do the bare minimum when applying for a job. 

As job seekers, it’s important to adapt and embrace the concept of the On-Target Resume to stand out in a crowded field of applicants.

Let’s delve into why On-Target Resumes are now a must for anyone on the job hunt.

Before On-Target - All Purpose

Remember the days when you could create a single resume and send it out to every job opening you came across? That approach is swiftly gliding into irrelevance. The all-purpose, one-size-fits-all resume is becoming close to obsolete, and for good reason.

Why the Move to On-Target?

Employers Overrun

Picture this: you're a hiring manager sifting through a mountain of resumes, most of which seem to be generic, disorganised, and lacklustre. It's not a fun experience and can be a waste of valuable time and money.

Employers are overrun with such resumes, making it challenging to identify the true gems among the pile.

To Eliminate Resume Fatigue

Employers are fatigued with the same-old, same-old resumes that don't make a strong case for why a particular candidate is the right fit for their role. Recruiters see so many CVs for some roles they can tell in less than 10 seconds if the person is a match.

They yearn for something that is focused and grabs their attention. 

Stand Out the Competition

In a competitive job market, job seekers must do everything in their power to stand out. 

On-Target Resumes give you the edge you need to stand out from the competition and secure the job you desire.

It's not just about getting a job; it's about getting the right job, and On-Target Resumes are your secret weapon in this quest.

What does On-Target mean?

Addresses a Specific Opportunity

An On-Target Resume is tailor-made for a specific job opportunity. It's not a generic document that you can fire off to every company you come across.

Instead, it hones in on the job you're applying for, highlighting how your unique skills and experiences make you a perfect fit - addressing the key requirements and/or responsibilities listed in the job posting.

Note: Don't build from scratch all the time, create a core resume that can act as a master doc you can customise - more on that here.

Uses Powerful Words to Persuade and Clean Design

On-Target Resumes are characterised by their use of powerful, action-oriented words that persuade employers of your qualifications. They employ clean and visually appealing designs that make your resume easy to read and understand.

Note: You might read this and think you need a degree in design to capture the attention of the recruiter. Don’t panic. Some of the most effective resumes I have seen had a pretty simple design, but the content was super relevant to the role.

Plays Up Strengths and Downplays Any Factor That Undermines Your Bid for an Interview

An On-Target Resume doesn't shy away from showcasing your strengths. It boldly presents your accomplishments, skills, and experiences in a way that aligns perfectly with the job's requirements. It also backs up claims with tangible data points to increase the impact of the words.

At the same time, it tactfully downplays any factor that might work against you in securing an interview. The content is streamlined, purposeful and relevant.

So what are the Questions I should ask?

Once you have drafted your on-target resume, it’s time to put your employer hat on.

Outline the requirements on the job posting. 

Then, pretend you are the employer (or get a trusted friend to pretend) and go through your resume. Can you confidently and clearly answer the following questions:

  • Why you are an excellent match for the job? 
  • What skills you bring to the organisation? 
  • Why you are worth the money you hope to earn?
  • Your capacity for doing the work better than other candidates?
  • Your ability to solve company or industry problems?

If not, you’ve got a bit more tweaking to do. This blog or these free resources may help.

If yes, you’re ready to go! Fingers crossed and best of luck.


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