Show Your Value in a Resume without Scaring Employers Away

Boo! This is Halloween week, and the gremlins are on their way for some good trick-or-treating.

But what might be equally frightening to prospective employers (on a more regular basis) is that many job seekers send in either industry or company-specific jargon-laden resumes which simply scare off readers.

Who would want to take the time to read a resume if what you are saying (or how you say it) doesn’t apply to that particular employer? Or for that matter, that the employer can’t even understand what you are saying?

The truth is that many job seekers are ‘jumping ship’ from some of the weaker industries right now, and they are sending off resumes to totally different fields, but these documents are so technically-skilled or so full of industry lingo that has no application to the target sector… and employers are immediately turned off.

Example: I have had several clients from a multi-billion dollar, multi-national corporation that manufactures certain components to the computing industry. They were looking for employment outside of this organization, and reading their resumes was like starting to learn a new language, even though I am fairly tech savvy.

The problem was that these job seekers were so focused on including internal product names, project names, and references for internal processes, that anyone else who was not at that company wouldn’t have a clue what it was that the job seeker actually DID.

Creating a cloud in a resume of technical terms is important for gaining ‘hits’ in applicant tracking systems for similar jobs, however, if those specific keywords have no relevancy to the new field, you’ll need to do some serious editing and leave them out.

The key is to break down what was done in terms of the essence of what you did, rather than the technical skills associated with it. That will help you make the translation clearer and clear out the fog from your resume, allowing employers to see you more clearly.

There are generally three sets of skills that a job seeker has to work with when writing their career document.

1) Personal skills (such as your personal work habits, ethics, traits, attributes) are generally relegated to the branding statement at the beginning of a resume and are considered your soft “people” skills.

2) Transferrable skills (project management, fiscal management, administrative skills, sales) can be highlighted throughout the document

3) Technical skills (D3300 Gizbot, Sector 3 Transfer Protocol) specific skills related to a particular industry, and should be used when applying to same

If you can clear your head while you are freeing your resume of heavy technical terms that aren’t relevant to a new career direction, you’ll have a greater degree in success in capturing the attention of prospective employers.