The Secret to a Tailored Resume

Back in September, I decided to take an Advanced Resume Development course.

While I’ve taught resumes for the last few years, the course still proved to be insightful.

This time, I was analyzing award-winning resumes from Certified Resume Writers and Master Resume Writers.

And they all did one thing (among many things) particularly well.

So today I’m sharing the most important concept I learned in creating a stand-out resume.

If you can apply this concept into your own resume (and LinkedIn profile), the chances of landing your dream job will become significantly higher.

The Secret to a Tailored Resume

When I used to review resumes in my human resources career, I wish I could express to you how many poorly written resumes I saw.

Sometimes the resume wasn’t even related to the position!

You can imagine how quickly that went into the “no” pile.

If I couldn’t easily recognize how your resume fit the position, it was also a “no”.

By the way, it’s important to note the purpose of a resume, which is to get you an interview.

So even if you would have been perfect for the position, if it isn’t obvious on your resume, then you’re not getting selected for the interview.

I don’t want that to happen to you, so I’m going to share a concept that will help you be strategic with your resume.

But first – I need to let you in on what employers care about. 

And that is — employers care about what you have to offer to their company.

They want to know: “Why should I hire you instead of the other candidates?”

The bare minimum would be to have relevant skills and experience to the position.

But I would like to take you a step further.

I want you to think about: “Why does the company really need me?”

And this is where the employer’s buying motivators come in!

The Employer’s Buying Motivators

These are the underlying reasons the employer wants to hire an employee and it’s more than just the responsibilities listed on the job description.

The requirements typically fall under four buckets:

  1. Generate revenue (increase sales, expand market share, increase profit)
  2. Save money (enhance efficiency, boost productivity, improve cash flow)
  3. Solve a problem (reduce errors, eliminate downtime, increase retention)
  4. Support the organization’s mandate (increase credibility, visibility, and/or recognition)

When you write your resume, make sure you know the buying motivators for your role. There may be more than one, so be sure you speak to them.

I’ll use the example of a customer service representative at a bank. 

Their main task is to complete financial transactions for bank customers (ie. deposit money, withdraw money, talk about bank products available to you).

But the underlying reason the bank would hire someone for this role is actually to generate more money for the bank. How?

  • Cross-selling bank products like savings accounts (you might earn a tiny bit of interest but the bank is investing your money or loaning it out)
  • Advising you to meet with other bank associates (to set up a loan or consider investing your money with the bank)
  • Providing excellent customer service (so you will continue to use the bank’s services and products for the long-term)

I’ll also add that the role does include an aspect of solving problems too, which is to reduce errors and fraud (so the bank doesn’t lose money).

So if you’re applying to a customer service role at the bank, they’re not just looking for someone to help customers.

They want someone who can effectively sell, advise, and prevent errors – with a friendly smile on their face.

That is what you want to make sure you demonstrate all throughout your resume and its bullet points.

So there you have it.

If you can tailor your resume to address the buying motivators of the employer, you’re going to stand out from other candidates and *hopefully* get invited for the interview!

*Note: I think it’s important to note that having a strong resume is one aspect of a strategic job search. Increase your chances with other methods (which I will share in next week’s email).

Your Quote of the Week

“If we think we are fragile and broken, we will live a fragile, broken life.

If we believe we are strong and wise, we will live with enthusiasm and courage.”

~ Wayne Muller

Your Reflection Question

If you had the opportunity, what would you tell your childhood self?

Think about it, journal, share it with a friend!

I hope you enjoyed today’s email. 

I will see you next week with another topic on career and/or life, an interesting quote and a question for you to reflect on for the week.

Take care,

PS. If you think any part of this email will help someone you know, please feel free to forward and share it with them. The more, the merrier.