Do you sometimes just scratch your head because you know you'd be great for the job and you think your resume communicated your qualifications but nobody on the other end "gets" it?
If the impassioned even embittered debate on Twitter and Facebook about whether the above dress is gold and white or blue and black tells us anything, it's that we don't all see the same reality.
I'm afraid this is a rather profound truth and is at the basis of many human misunderstandings. For instance, ISIS sees the world differently from your average Westerner. This ability to look at conditions in the world and perceive radically different things is surely tragic for humanity.
What about the typical spousal debate about money? It's obvious that legal tender is "seen" in different ways by different people. That's why studies show that having very different views of money is a very common cause of divorce.
It's worth pointing out here, though, that without this very human, built-in variety of perceptions we would have no great art, music, drama, or even cosmology to excite, awaken, inform, and inspire people. How often we "see" a new reality when confronted by great art!
So what does all this have to do with your resume? Well, if your resume evokes in the recruiter an entirely different picture of who you are professionally than you thought you were projecting, your candidacy in not apt to go any further.
Many people "perceive" that they are telling the hiring authority that they have the a,b, and c skills and experiences required for the job. But is the recruiter seeing that also? Usually not.
This dilemma is the reason why you as a job seeker need to throw away many of your personal preferences in writing your resume. Instead, follow these simple rules:
- Weave the exact keywords or key phrases you find in the job ad into your resume's profile and the descriptions of your job responsibilities
- Take the key skills the job ad specifies and, in addition to weaving them in, provide examples of using them in your jobs
- Put information the recruiter wants to see in the expected places on the resume: Summary, Experience, Education
Yes, this means customizing every resume you send out to the exact key words and key phrases in the particular job ad.
If you folllow these rules and construct an ATS-friendly resume (see recent blog posts + free example), you will be in a good position to have your resume retrieved by the recruiter in a search.
So, if you don't want your "blue and black" dress to appear "gold and white" when the recruiter wants to see "blue and black," observe the above conventions!