How often do you customize your resume when applying for a job opportunity? My educated guess is not on many occasions.
Typically you have a standard resume and when you come across an opportunity, you would send your standard resume together with a cover email to the hiring person.
[You are not alone in doing so. When I started my career way back in 1993, at that time, there were no main stream word processors, only an application known as ‘WordStar’ and having a PC was a luxury. It was even expensive to get your resume typed out on an electronic typewriter. I used to have over a 100 xerox copies and would send them through post (no email). ]
But this approach will get your resume to trash bin most of the time. Question is why so? The answer is simple, your resume did not stand out amongst the most qualified, typically around 3-5 per opportunity.
So how do we make your resume stand out? The answer is using the ‘Lego Blocks’ approach. Most of us are familiar with the concept of ‘Lego Blocks’. The key is that the same Lego Blocks are customizable to build many objects. We should do the same when applying for jobs.
You should start building your resume ‘Lego’ blocks. For example:
Block 1: Personal Details
Block 2: Educational Qualifications. It is important to highlight academic achievements e.g. Distinction, Gold Medal, Dean’s List etc.
Block 3: Professional Qualification e.g. certifications
Block 4: Skills e.g. programming languages, experience in regulations or standards etc
Block 5: Employment Summary. Highlight your designation, job responsibilities, KPIs, what was your reporting structure and most importantly your achievements in an objective and factual way.
Examples of responsibilities are:
- Maintaining 3 applications: Core Banking, Market Risk, Trade Finance
- Managing a 10 person team handling 1,000 customers in key states of UP and Haryana
- Responsible for yearly revenue of 10 Cr
Examples of achievements are:
- Won best employee award for customer satisfaction
- Exceeded sales revenue by 100%
- Helped to save 10 Cr in cost by having better terms and pricing with vendors
- Implemented SAP-FICO application in 6 months against a plan of 9 months using the Agile development methodology
When you are taking a shot at a job opportunity, the first thing you need to do is spend time to review two important things:
- Job Responsibilities
Use Lego Blocks 2, 3, and 4 and map it to suit the required qualifications. If gap is too big there is no point in wasting time on it e.g. job requires PhD and you have only B.Tech. Otherwise, carefully amend blocks 2,3,4 to map nicely to qualification. So when the hiring manager reads your resume, your resume stands out as one of the most qualified ones.
But this is not enough, you also need to prove you have the ‘right experience’ to meet or exceed the job responsibilities. For that use Lego Block 5 and map to job responsibilities. Again, If the gap is too big then there is no point wasting time on it e.g. Having 5 years experience on Oracle EBS R11 and you only have experience on Workday. Otherwise, carefully amend block 5 to bring out your job responsibilities, KPIs (and how you achieved or outperformed it), and key achievements to meet or exceed job responsibilities.
Block 1 is typically static and you wouldn’t need to change it very often. One care you must take is that always remember to put a passport size photo taken in business attire. It would be suicide to put selfies or photos from holidays.
It would make your resume very credible if you can mention that references will be provided on request.
And that’s it. This will definitely help to increase your chance of shortlisting your resume and getting a call for interview.
Good luck for your dream job!