Industry Resume: 3 Ways to Avoid the One-Size-Fits-All Approach


If you’re planning to send the same resume for every industry job that piques your interest, stop right now. If there is one thing we have learned through our years of work with job seekers, it’s that when it comes to deciding on an industry resume format one size doesn’t fit all.

On the contrary, your job search approach should mirror the guidelines that marketing professionals follow when they prepare to launch an advertising campaign to introduce a new product. In many ways, you should see your job application materials as promotional literature to announce your arrival on the job market. In other words, the format of your industry resume—how it looks, what it includes and what it also excludes—has an immediate impact on how you are perceived and on your chances at being selected for an interview. This is why you should prepare multiple versions of your resume for each position you are apply for.

Here some marketing principles that you should apply to your industry resume writing strategy:

Define your audience. Like any good marketing professional, it is important to carefully consider who will be reading your resume. Who is on the hiring committee? Put your research skills to use and find out as much as you can about the person who will look at your resume. What’s their area of expertise? What are their interests? Are any of these interests in alignment with yours? If so, make sure to highlight them on your resume.

Define your selling points. Once you have drafted a list of professional skills, you should prioritize them in order of relevance to the job description to ensure that you highlight aspects of your profile that the hiring committee is looking for. Put yourself in their shoes. Based on the information you gathered, what would impress them the most on your resume? In other words, what aspects of your profile are compelling enough to inspire the hiring committee to take action and call you in for an interview?

Define your sales pitch. Once you’ve defined your fit, it’s important to get your point across clearly and succinctly to your reader. This is why your resume should be as easy to read as possible. Make it short, straightforward, and clear. You should use language carefully and strategically. Use the mission statement of the target organization as an indicator of the values and qualities that they embrace. Then make sure that these elements are reflected in your resume.

Like any piece of strategic communication, your job application materials should follow a master plan designed for each target position. Keep in mind that the more time you spend on your resume, the less time you’ll spend on the job market!

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