A Valuable Lesson Learned: Tailoring Your Resume for Success

Estimated read time 3 min read

I wanted to share an insightful experience I had during a recent interview that taught me an important lesson about the power of a tailored resume. Allow me to walk you through it.

This week, I had the opportunity to meet with two recruiters simultaneously—an intriguing and somewhat unique experience. Little did I know that this meeting would leave a lasting impression on me. These recruiters not only provided valuable feedback about my resume but also highlighted an honest oversight on my part.

Let me backtrack a bit. My career search began somewhat unexpectedly after the latest AWS RIF. Despite being a firm believer in keeping resumes updated, I found myself in a pickle. My work machine was bricked as part of the RIF, and my latest resume used for an internal transfer was lost – I was left without my latest resume updates. Suddenly, I had to capture my accomplishments from the past two years while simultaneously embarking on my job search. Needless to say, it was a whirlwind.

In my eagerness, I reached out to a recruiter at a company I was interested in, sharing links to two job postings. One aligned with my current ESM role, while the other leveraged skills I had built throughout my career but didn’t necessarily prioritize. (Example of Ideal role versus Emergency role in my earlier post) I was transparent with the recruiters, expressing that my true passion lay in continuing as a Solution Architect supporting sales. Their response left me taken aback: “Your resume does not reflect or support that desire.”

Instead of reacting defensively, I took a step back and assessed my current resume objectively. While it was well-crafted, ATS-friendly, and presented my recent career details effectively, it failed to specifically address the key skills and traits emphasized in the SA job posting. It was an oversight born out of my desire to balance resume improvement with networking and applying for new roles.

So, what’s the next step? There are numerous tools available, and some individuals are adept at tackling resume challenges on their own. Regardless of the approach you choose, it’s crucial to ensure that your resume speaks directly to the role you are seeking. While I don’t advocate for creating a unique resume for every application, I do agree that when targeting a specific position, it’s essential to include relevant keywords and metrics that genuinely represent your experience.

Ultimately, this interview turned out to be a valuable learning experience. I not only gained insights into the company and had the pleasure of meeting two exceptional recruiters, but I also realized that even with thorough preparation, we are all only human. Adjusting my resume to align with my desired role was a necessary step toward achieving career success.

Remember, the lesson here is to tailor your resume to speak directly to the position you’re seeking. By doing so, you increase your chances of standing out and landing that dream job. Happy job hunting, everyone!

#career #resume #interview

Originally posted on LinkedIn June 21st, 2023

Image credit – https://unsplash.com/@markuswinkler

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