Tailoring Your Work Experience To A Specific Job
When reading a resume, the HR manager is looking for information relevant to that specific position, with its own unique requirements.
Because, guess what, if you send the same resume to every job ad you can get your hands on, its going to be very obvious that youre using a generic resume, not optimized for any of them in particular.
To avoid that, show the recruiter that you actually took the time to read the job ad , and that your resume is tailored to their requirements.
To do this, actually read the job ad in detail, not just give it a quick glance and call it a day.
For example, take this ad:
Theyre looking for someone:
- With 5+ years of experience in creating digital experiences
- Proficient in standard UX software
- With specific knowledge of interface patterns for mobile, web, and responsive design
- With good understanding of HTML,CSS, JAVA, and more
The point is that theyre looking for specific knowledge within the general position.
So in this case, they want someone with a B.A. degree, 5+ years of experience and with a good understanding of basic front-end development.;
You can mention how you excel at all this within your work experience entries
- Developed mobile applications with Java, optimized for both Mobile and Web
Now, with all that knowledge combined, lets take a look at some exceptional real-life resume examples that work.
Writing A Resume With No Experience
Writing your first resume is a major step in any new professionals career. This is your opportunity to showcase why youre an excellent candidate and how youve prepared yourself to succeed in your first job.
When youre entering the job market for the first time and creating a resume with no work experience, youll want to focus on other experiences that helped you develop a professional skill set, share your greatest strengths and highlight your education. In this article, we offer some tips and examples to help you develop a powerful and compelling resume with no work experience.
How To List Work Experience If Youre An Experienced Professional
If youre an experienced professional, any hiring manager worth their salt is going to put your work experience section under scrutiny. Because of that, you want to make sure your work experience section is tight.
To help employers navigate this section, list your work history in reverse chronological order. Put the most recent and the most relevant items should first.
If youre working a full-time job and freelancing at the same time, its only up to you to decide where do you want to draw the attention first.
Also, dont just state where you worked at and what was your job title. Use 24 bullet points for each job to describe your duties and specific achievements. Heres an example:
Write Achievements Instead Of Responsibilities
One of the best ways you can summarize your job experience is by showing your achievements.
In most cases, the HR manager can already guess what your responsibilities were. Especially if its anything like the one youre applying for – they probably know the position inside out.
Instead, to stand out, what you can do is show your impact, in that role.
- Increased landing page CTR by 4% in the first month through A/B testing and changing the copy.
- Worked with email marketing and launched social media campaigns.
If you increased the overall revenue growth from 5% to 15%, and implemented a new marketing plan for the year, this is something recruiter will want to know.
Theyre looking for information and any kind of quantifiable change that you can also apply to their company.
However, if you were in a position where you could not leave behind any notable achievements , feel free to simply list your responsibilities and tasks.
How To Highlight Skills On A Resume With No Work Experience
The goal of a first job resume is to demonstrate your value as an employee and show employers why hiring you would benefit their company. The first thing you need to do is carefully review the job description and note any specific skills you have or requirements you can fulfill.
Keep in mind employers are looking for a combination of soft skills and hard skills. Soft skills are abilities you can apply to almost any position, such as team leadership, verbal communication or self-management. Hard skills are typically things you learn through specialized education or on-the-job training like proficiency in industry-related software or fluency in a foreign language.
When hiring for entry-level jobs, most employers value soft skills over hard skills because soft skills are harder to teach. It’s acceptable if you havent yet cultivated all the hard skills you need for a positionby sharing youre capable of building new skills and learning new processes, employers will see your value as a potential new employee.
Make sure you include only the information most relevant to the job. For example, if youre applying for a job as an administrative assistant, you dont need to discuss how your role as a babysitter helped improve your childcare skills, but you could share how the experience helped you cultivate time management skills and the ability to juggle multiple tasks at once.
- Time management
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Power Words To Make Your Resume Stand Out
When an employer reviews your resume and cover letter, you have a limited amount of time to leave a lasting impression. Often, recruiters are tasked with reviewing many applications at once, and its not uncommon for them to see the same standard verbs used on most resumes. A great way to stand out and effectively capture their attention is to include resume power words.
How To Discover Skills The Company Values
You need to use the job description to customize your resume skills and work history sections. But dont stop there. Research the employer to gain insight into the workplace culture and company values. You may discover additional qualities that would be prized by the employer.
If you know someone who works at the company, or has in the past, reach out to ask about the workplace culture and what the employer considers important in its workers. Also check websites such as Glassdoor and Fairygodboss for company reviews by employees and former employees.
The companys website can tell you a lot, too. Reading the About Us page is typically a good place to begin.
For instance, in a section called Living our values, IBM includes the following:
- Dedication to every clients success
- Innovation that matters for our company and for the world
- Trust and responsibility in all relationships
If you were applying for a job at IBM, you would want to consider what soft skills you possess that fit this framework customer service, attentiveness, initiative and loyalty and weave them into your resume.
Here at Robert Half, we focus on and promote our four LEAD principles. They are:
- Leadership by Example
- An Openness to New Ideas
- Dedication to Excellence
If youre applying for a job at Robert Half, you might highlight skills that speak to your leadership, drive and diligence, as well as your confidence and ability to collaborate.
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Analyze The Job Description
This is a must when youre applying for any job, but its particularly essential when you need to appropriately tailor or expand on your professional history in order to present yourself as qualified.
Before even opening up a blank document and putting your name at the top, take the time to go through the job description with a fine-tooth comb. Are there key words like leadership,;communication,;or organization;that keep popping up? Do they list Photoshop expertise as a desired skill? Is there a certain line of the description that makes you think, Hey, thats totally me!
Getting a solid handle on the specific qualifications theyre searching for is incredibly important for helping you appropriately tweak and target your resume. Once youre armed with the details of what they consider a perfect candidate, injecting some of that information into your own document will be much easier.
The Basics: How To Nail Formatting
First and foremost, its important that you write your work experience section in a way that not only compliments you, but is also easy to read. Refrain from making descriptions too long, and rather, highlight only the most crucial details of your previous positions.
There are often minor differences in formatting that can be acceptable, but in general, you should always state the name of the position first. Directly after the name, you should include the dates in which you worked that position. For example, your first line should look something like:
Retail Sales Associate, 08/2018 to 03/2020
If you have specific dates you can always include them, however, if you dont have an exact date theres no harm in just writing the months.
Of course, keep in mind that if you only worked a job for a very short period of time, or in the distant past, you do not need to include it in your resume. However, you should never omit a relevant job from your resume because you burned bridges with your past employer, as this will mislead and send red flags to your new, potential employer.
With all that in mind, your next line should simply include the name of the company you worked for, and their address. The two lines together should look something like this:
Retail Sales Associate, 08/2018 to 03/2020Toms Groceries 109 Samson St, Fletcher, PA 12312
Here are some examples of descriptions:
Worked as a team and communicated efficiently with at least two other co-workers
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How To Write Work Experience On A Resume
A well-written work experience section is a crucial element on your resume because it shows that you have the necessary qualifications to be an asset to your potential employer. It also provides substantial information in a limited space. In this article, well show you how to list work experience on a resume to make a strong impression on your prospective employer.
Customize Your Resume For Each Job You Apply To
The last and most important thing to remember when creating a good resume is to customize it for every job to which you apply. Different job postings are going to have different keywords, different job duties listed, and so on. Appealing to each individual employer’s needs and job requirements is the best strategy for getting your application noticed and hopefully landing your first job.
At the end of the day, there’s no magical formula for how to write a winning resume the only perfect resume is the one that gets you the job. Be prepared to tweak and update your resume, even when you’re comfortably employed. Utilize a hybrid resume format and focus on your skills and education when you don’t have any work experience to show. Sooner or later, you’ll land that job and gain that much-coveted experience.
Tackling this kind of resume isn’t easy. If you’ve recently graduated or are in an entry-level job search, a professional resume writer can prepare you for success. Learn more.
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Leave Out Irrelevant Information
This is a good rule of thumb for resumes of all types. Remember to only emphasize achievements and skills that show your value as a candidate.
For example, if you want to work in renewable energy, your internship working for a solar company is important, but your recognition as the fastest swimmer at summer camp wont be as valuable. Stick to listing skills and experience that relate to the job.
Dont worry if your resume looks a little light on content. Its better to have a short resume thats packed with relevant information than a long resume that includes a bunch of fluff.
Use A Hybrid Resume Format
We now know that recruiters spend about 6-7 seconds glancing at resumes before deciding if the applicant is a potential fit. That means that in 2021, you need to get to the good stuffprimarily your abilitiesquickly. A hybrid resume allows recruiters to see your skills at a glance and, in our opinion, is the best resume format for the modern day job search.
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Always Include Your Contact Information
If an employer likes your entry-level resume so much that they want to call you in for an interview, theyre going to need to know how to get in contact with you. And if you forget to put this information on your resume, well, youre out of luck.
Always include your name, email, phone number, and the city you live in on your resume. To keep everything looking neat and tidy, you can compile all of these things together at the top of the page.
Pro Tip: Make sure you provide a professional-sounding email. Also, never put your contact information in the header of your resume. Some applicant tracking systems cant read this information, and your resume may be discarded before it even reaches a human reader.
Include Keywords From The Original Job Posting
One of the best ways to make your resume stand out is to use the job posting as a guide. Schweikert says that she often tells people that is the first place they should look when revamping their resume.
Weve written the job description with certain words, Schweikert says. And when we see a resume with those words on it, those are the resumes that instantly get our attention.
Some companies actually conduct keyword searches when sorting through resumes, Schweikert adds, which means those terms are even more important to include if you want to secure an interview. It may sound tedious, but taking the time to customize your resume for each individual job you apply to is a surefire tactic to stand out among the pack of applicants, she says.
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Writing The Experience Section
List the companies you worked for, dates of employment, the positions you held, and brief descriptions of your work responsibilities, enriched with keywords and enhanced with;bulleted lists;of quantifiable achievements.
This work history is typically presented in reverse chronological order, beginning with your current job and working back in time. Internships, summer jobs, and temporary jobs, in addition to permanent positions, can all be included in this part of your resume.
You do not have to include every job that you have held, especially if you have several years of experience or have worked in unrelated fields.;Entry-level;employees, who do not have a lot of on-the-job experience, should include every job possible while emphasizing the skills that;match the job listing.;
But once you have worked for more than 10 years, you may find that some of your earlier jobs are less relevant to your career. You can leave those positions off, or group together earlier experience in a very truncated format at the end of your resume. Here are two examples of how early jobs can be listed on your resume:
- Additional experience includes retail sales jobs at Barry’s Books , Cindy’s Clothing Store , and waitressing at Muffins and More .
- Additional experience includes early roles at ABC Company and XYZ company.
Put Down Your Contact Information
Just like the name suggests, the first thing you add to your header is your personal and contact information.
Its the easiest part to get right, just keep it short and to the point.
In your contact information section, mention the following:
- First and Last Name
- A link to a professional profile or personal webpage
Make sure to use a professional-sounding E-mail.
I.e. something along the lines of
Youre sure to leave a wrong impression if you use an email you created back in preschool .
Make sure to double-check, triple-check your contact information. After all, the recruiter cant contact you if you have a typo in your phone number.
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Keep Your Resume Short
An entry-level resume should never exceed one page, which is good news! If this is your first ever resume, you might not have a whole bunch of information to include.
Aim to fill the whole page, but, again, make sure everything you put on your resume can all tie back into the job youre applying for. If you need to, adjust your margins so that theyre the maximum size of 1 inch.
Also, dont try to fill your resume up with statements like References available upon request. These things go without saying, and theres really no reason to put them on your resume. If an employer wants to speak with your references, theyll ask.
How To List Volunteer Work On Your Resume
- Including volunteer work on your resume can help employers learn about your interests and experienceespecially if you have limited professional experience.
- You can include volunteer experience in your professional experience section, skill section or in a separate volunteer section.
- Include keywords from the job description that connects your volunteer experience back to the role.
The goal of writing a resume is to quickly show employers you are a great fit for the job. Adding information like your skills, professional experience and education can help convey why the employer should advance you in the hiring process. Another section you might consider adding is volunteer work. Listing volunteer work on your resume can help employers understand your interests, skills and support resumes with little to no professional experience.
1. Name and contact information2. Summary or objectivec. Description of role and achievement4. Education6. Optional
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