The One Question Your Resume Should Answer


The job search is time consuming, but it’s important to take time to craft a memorable cover letter and customize your resume for each respective job.  Most importantly, your resume should show how you’re going to be an asset to the hiring manager.  Your resume should show and answer how you are going to solve their problems and fill their void.

Take Time to Tailor: Resume screeners will quickly scan your resume to see if you are a fit. They should see the connection immediately. For positions that receive a high volume of applications, screeners are pressed for time. They most likely will not deliberate over your resume, trying to figure out how your fashion internship relates to the financial analyst position in question.

Perhaps, you dealt heavily with budgeting in your last internship along with that economics minor. You have to draw clear parallels on how you embody the company’s dream candidate. And, of course, you need to make it clear how your previous experience will help in your future experience.

Don’t forget to add (a compelling) objective statement: The objective statement can be key in directing the hiring manager to focus on key qualifications that you want to stand out.  For example, if you’re changing careers and feel like it’s a stretch to say that you have any direct experience in the industry you’re now targeting, the objective is an essential addition.

There is the school of thought that the objective statement is obsolete and should be completely eliminated. However, I believe it should only be left out if the statement is meaningless, vague, and forgettable. As a recent graduate, I had to add an objective statement to create a picture for the hiring manager. The only aspect of the position where I didn’t have clear experience in was working in a sales environment, as my recruiting job is in a fast-paced, competitive recruitment industry. I wanted the hiring manager to know that I could combine all of my experiences and be an asset to the company. This can be accomplished by being specific about your skills and clear about your goals. Career development specialist Lily Zhang, in an article for The Muse, provides a great example of a simple but effective objective.

“Objective: To leverage my 10+ years of client-facing experience, public speaking skills, and expertise in the tech industry in a public relations role at a growing educational technology startup.”

Don’t waste prime resume real estate with a bland objective. Succinct and specific is the way to go.

Be a detective: You must first understand the company to effectively tailor your resume. Address not only the criteria, but the issues and needs of the company.

  1. Study the job description. Dissect it, pick the essentials, and make a list.
  • Must-haves (requirements)
  • Desired (AKA major pluses)
  • Do they describe a specific need? Maybe it’s a non-profit organization that mentions an annual auction – it’s time to add in your event coordination experience and emphasize your superb organizational skills.
  1. Creep on current (or former) employees of the company on Linkedin: If they include their job description, you can get a better idea of what their day-to-day is like than from a stock job description. I’ve gained extremely valuable insight that helped me in interviews from my stealthy work.
  2. Cater to their objective/mission statement.

What’s going to get your foot in the door? Intriguing the employer. Use your resume to show that you can be are an asset to their company.