Communication is all about getting across barriers to connect. How many times have you suddenly realized that you do not understand what someone means when they use a familiar word? Or have you experienced this: you want a solution to a particular problem and the salesman keeps insisting you need a solution to a problem you don’t have?
Employers encounter a variation of this when an applicant submits a resume. In her excellent article, “How To Speak The Language of Hiring“, Lydia Dishman says that hiring managers want to know the quality of experience and how a candidate will approach the job once hired. Resumes, on the other hand, tend to focus on actions and education. As a result, the resume is addressing the wrong question.
You can speak the right language and address the right question, by understanding the process and perspective of the employer. Your resume has to pass through a couple of filters before you get called in for the interview. Most employers will use an electronic filter first, an applicant tracking system. Then the filtered list of potential candidates will be read by the recruiter, who scans for more detail. Finally, those resumes passing these filters is put on the desk of the person who determines the best fit for the job and schedules interviews.
That’s three different perspectives with their own questions; your resume must pass all of them. Intimidated? You don’t have to be. Just remember to focus on the specific job opening is. Tell how you developed a skill like collaboration by being on a team that worked on the very thing they are looking for. The computer sees the thing, the person sees that you know how to collaborate.
Still confused? We offer resume creation in our A La Carte Services and a Resume Critique for those who just need to know if they are saying what the employers want to hear in language that communicates.