How to Write a Compelling Resume for a Generic Job Description

How to Write a Compelling Resume for a Generic Job Description

The rules of resume writing continue to evolve. Right now, it’s all about saying as user-1822166-2015-09-22-13-34-23_list_imagemuch as possible in as few words as possible, formatting for applicant tracking systems and targeting the job YOU want. Those are the three essential components for today’s resume but the last one can be the most challenging, especially when the language used in the job description is vague or generic.

When we tell clients, “write your resume for the job you want to attract” that may require you to put on your detective hat and do some additional research. If the job description is standard template language full of soft skills, dig deeper. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  1. Kudos for originality. Generic job descriptions lack originality so you might want to give priority to the descriptions that show thought and provide some insights about the company. Extra points for creativity because that makes a candidate excited to apply.
  2. Look to the website. If the language in the job search is short on keywords, pizazz or specific duties, go to the website. Spend some time reading the company mission, looking at photos to get a sense of the culture and watching any videos. The company’s YouTube channel is chock full of insight.
  3. Use LinkedIn. For additional guidance about how to brand yourself as the right fit for a position, go to your network. Who do you know that may know someone who works for this company? This is where LinkedIn comes in handy. By following the company page, you can see how you are connected to people who work there.
  4. Trim the fat. Part of targeting your resume for the ideal job means removing (or de-showcasing) what isn’t relevant. If your resume has 10 seconds to make an impact, do you want prospective employers to know that you were captain of the Lacrosse team before they see that you received a rapid promotion because of your drive and tenacity? Not every example will be quite as obvious as that one but keep an eye out for things that don’t speak to your ability to kick-butt in the role you’re applying for.
  5. Avoid mistakes. Nothing ruins a compelling resume like an error. In a company’s need to eliminate candidates for highly competitive positions, that’s a definite deal breaker. Proofread by going through the content backwards. Don’t rely on spellcheck either.

So there you have it. Resume writing is not easy for the writer, but a good one will make the recruiter or hiring manager’s job easier – and THAT is a worthy goal. Dig deep to find out what they’re looking for, trim the fat and keep it free of mistakes. And remember, you don’t have to go it alone. Many professional resume writers know the value of having someone else write their resumes for them. If you’d like a quote, contact info@careerfolk.com today.

For more on today’s resume requirements, watch Donna & Tava below:

Happy Writing!


About the Author:

Tava Auslan, MSEd, ACRW
Senior Coach, Certified Resume WriterTava Auslan, Senior Career Coach

Tava Auslan is a career counselor, certified resume writer and dancer. She received her BA in Psychology from SUNY Purchase and a Counseling Masters from Fordham University. Since 2002 she has partnered with her clients to give them clarity, confidence and concrete strategies for job search. Tava is known for her ability to help people assess their challenges, determine where they are stuck and offer tangible solutions to get them back on track. An astute writer, Tava earned her ACRW credential from Resume Writing Academy and crafts resumes that tell a compelling story for job seekers of all ages and stages. Tava has worked with a broad array of clients ranging from entrepreneurs, project managers, recent grads and engineers.

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