How to Craft a Purposeful Resume That Advances Your Job Goals

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Improve Your Resume or CV

If your resume has no direction or purpose, it’ll never get you where you want to go. You may think that simply writing down your skills and employment history will be enough to land you a job, but it isn’t. 

If you want to get hired, your resume must have a purpose—otherwise, it’s just a bunch of words on a page. Those words won’t bag you your dream job unless they truly mean something. Does your resume have a purpose? Get a resume expert to advise you

1. Your resume format 

In some ways, crafting the ideal resume is less about what information you include and more about how you present it. After all, even if you say all the right things, unless they’re presented properly, they won’t have the desired effect. 

Always use a format that’s simple and easy to read. This includes going with clean, standard fonts such as Times New Roman, Calibri, or Arial. Yes, they are boring, but resumes are supposed to be boring. If you use Comic Sans, no one’s going to take you seriously. 

Additionally, most resumes will go through an applicant tracking system (ATS) before they land on a hiring manager’s desk. If you try to be too fancy, the software may not be able to read your resume and will discard it before you ever get the chance to impress a recruiter. 

It’s also important to highlight skills and expertise relevant to the job you’re applying for. You want to make your best qualifications stand out and ensure that the recruiter sees those before they lay eyes on the less flattering bits in your resume. Customize your application for each job you apply for—it may be time-consuming, but generic resumes never get people hired. 

2. Your intended target

Each resume you submit should be specifically tailored to the job you’re pursuing. How can you expect to get picked if your resume doesn’t set you up for that particular position? 

The first step to customization is including keywords from the job description. You can easily identify them because they’ll be distinct from the rest of the text—bold, italicized, underlined, etc.  The ATS will scan your resume for these keywords, and if it doesn’t find them, the hiring manager will never see your resume. 

So, if you keep submitting the same generic resume you’ve already sent to 100 other companies, you won’t get far in your job search. Even if you do make it past the digital gatekeeper, recruiters can generally smell a generic resume from a mile away, and they aren’t too fond of them.

Next, determine the goal of your resume. If it has no direction, the hiring manager will see that and move right past your application. After you write your resume, evaluate it to see whether it aligns with your goal. If you’re including a cover letter (which is a good practice in general unless a job listing specifically instructs applicants not to include one), you can easily explain your goal there.

3. Your desired result

If you don’t set goals for yourself, you’ll never accomplish what you want—it’s hard to achieve great things if you don’t try. Determine your goals and then work to attain them. This applies both to your resume and your professional development—keep working on your skills, honing them in every way you can. 

Anyone can write a resume, but it can be difficult to write one with a clear purpose and direction. You need intention behind your resume, a goal that it’s designed to achieve. What you put down on the page is important, but how you present it is just as important. Does your resume have direction? Is it aiming at a specific target? Is it producing the desired results? Not sure if it does any of those things? Let a resume expert help steer you in the right direction!

Improve Your Resume or CV