I have cautioned before that you cannot have just “a” resume that you submit to every employer; you need to customize your resume for each position to which you apply.
That said, you do need to have a “base” resume to start from.
Many resumes I see woefully undersell past achievements. A typical warehouse worker, for example, might include,
- Picked product
- Packaged product in cardboard box
- Attached label and shipped product.
Now, this job seeker is a laborer and not a resume writer. And, the job seeker is guessing about what is important to employers.
So, how does a job seeker know what employers are looking for, and what to include on a resume?
Ignoring format for now, there are a few simple steps anyone can use to create employer-relevant content for resumes:
Step 1: Decide what job title you want, whether you want to stay in your current occupation or switch careers.
Step 2: Go to O*NET Online. Enter your job title in the “Occupation Quick Search” box. Find the occupation title that best describes your actual role. This opens a page that lists common Tasks, Tools & Technology, and Knowledge / Skills / Abilities for the occupation. Print the page.
For example, a search for “Warehouse” brings up “Laborers and Freight,” which when printed, results in seven pages of Tasks. You did much more than just “picked product.”
Step 3: You likely do not have experience with everything on the O*NET list. Circle what you have done.
Step 4: Next, find seven to ten job descriptions on a job board for your title. For this step, I suggest a major job aggregator, like Indeed.com or SimplyHired.com. NOTE: You are NOT applying for the position; you are simply looking for the description. Print them.
Step 5: Circle the common key words from the descriptions you printed.
Step 6: Compare your list of Tasks from O*NET Online with the key words from the job descriptions. Then, create a resume that incorporates the overlap.
You now have a base resume that you can begin modifying.
Next, you will want to add your unique benefits and accomplishments.
Success doesn’t come to you. You go get it.