DiceTV: Your Resume MUST Focus on Your Audience

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQPEOBmnn-Q?rel=0&hd=1&w=560&h=349]

The Script

Hello aspiring resume writers. Let me ask you a couple of questions. Would you expect to find a story about foreign affairs on a sports website? How about a stash of quick dinner recipes on a career site like Dice?

The obvious answer is no, because most publications have savvy editors who know their audience and keep them engaged by offering them customized content. I’m Cat Miller and this is DiceTV.

Your resume is a written document but is it employer-centric? That means, putting the focus on the employer.

Editors start by reviewing market research to get a feel for their audience. In this case, the audience for IT job seekers includes screeners, who quickly scan resumes to identify  qualified candidates before passing them along to hiring managers. Within the audience are technical and non-technical personnel, so you have to write for the entire group.

You can create an emotional connection by reading the job description, researching the company and then mimicking their language and tone throughout the resume.

So how do you appeal to a diverse group of reviewers? By putting yourself in their shoes and offering each one a host of customized, relevant information that specifically addresses the requirements in the job description. Remember, relevant is in the eye of the beholder. You’ve got to create tightly focused copy and be disciplined enough to eliminate  superfluous information.

Appeal to screeners by including a summary of your qualifications at the top. Then highlight your critical skills by using boldface type. Speak to technical reviewers by providing a detailed list of your technical qualifications in the same order as the job description.

Satisfy scrutinizers by providing examples – a lot of examples – of your skills and experience in your work history. Write to business managers and non-technical staff by spelling out acronyms on first reference and going beyond a litany of technical tasks and responsibilities to describe your business impact.

Remember, it’s easy to write to your audience, if you place their needs above yours. I’m Cat miller and this is DiceTV. We now return you to your regular desktop.

9 Responses to “DiceTV: Your Resume MUST Focus on Your Audience”

  1. Good advice, although this seems time consuming. I have often used the cover letter to tie my abilities and experience with a particular company and their requirements. I would hope doing this would lessen the need to customize my resume for each position. (?)

  2. Turd Ferguson

    Cat Miller was the only reason i clicked this video on. When is there going to be a pictorial of her?
    anyway, i tailor my res/cvr ltr to job ads/reqs too. yes it takes a lot of time. so i apply to less jobs. more focused you see? smah-rt!

  3. Michael J. Taggart

    I have taken the employer’s requirements and responded with a line-by-line listing of my credentials and accomplishments as applicable to the listed needs. This takes a lot of time, especially when the result is a thanks, but no thanks response from the employer or headhunter.

    I have had the most success tying Dollar savings which I have achieved that relates to the employer’s stated requirements, with a brief, but hard-hitting accounting of the scenario. It seems DOLLARS get everyone’s attention!

  4. Jeffrey Staples

    Yes, Edgar, you are doing the right thing. I went to a job workshop on Monday and they said the same thing. To help with the job descriptions and getting keywords into your resume, they recommended a couple of web sites.

    O*NET, U.S. Dept. of Labor
    Search for occupations based on skills assessment, or look at occupations and see what skills are required.

    Heard to tag clouds? You can do the same thing with job descriptions and resumes. Upload a file or paste text into the text area. Click Visualize! button and you will get your own list of keywords.

    To get past electronic resume scanners, you need to have at least 80 – 85 % of the job keywords in your resume.

    • Unca Alby

      Just repeat the important words over and over.

      E.g., “I program in Java. At company X, I used Java to write sub-system Y, written in Java. I used Java because I am an excellent Java programmer.”

      Guess which keyword will show up big and bold in the tag cloud?