In today’s market employers are flooded with job seekers who could potentially fit a job, yet employer’s requirements are so stringent and so specific that many bemoan the lack of “qualified” job seekers. One way to counteract some extremely specific job requirements is to closely read over what the employer is looking for and then tailor your resume to reflect those skills. Even if you haven’t had experience with a specific skill or requirement, research what the employer is looking for and try and use your experience to make comparisons. Too many job seekers these days simply blast out their resumes on CareerBuilder, Monster and other sites without looking to see what the specifics of the job actually are.
Job titles are fluid and just because you were an Electrical Engineer at one company does not mean that the same title will apply to you at a different company. As a recruiting company we get hundreds of resumes every day and the only way to distinguish what resumes are worthwhile is to search for key words matching skills and experience, we simply don’t have the time to go more in depth and make comparisons and matches any other way. Also, keep in mind that many of times the first person to see your resume often has no idea or experience with the industry or job, they are simply there to screen out the most outrageous resumes before sending them on to someone else who may or may not have a little better idea of what the company is looking for (Case in point, we receive resumes from truck drivers and fast food workers weekly applying for Engineering and IT positions). So if you’re going to make your resume stand out you have to tailor it to the job. I’d even recommend putting specific skills (such as ASP.NET or SQL) in bold. And be specific, just because you list a skill on your resume doesn’t mean that you can actually accomplish what the employer is looking for. Give examples as much as possible and list any and all large projects or accomplishments (as long as there not generic like “worked on a team to simplify shipping saving the company $$$”). Be specific, what was your actual contribution to the team that led to the company saving money.
Many, many people are looking for work, either because they are currently unemployed or been stagnant in one position for many years or for any other number of reasons. If you are serious about finding a job you must put the time and effort into the search. Part of finding a job is working on it like it’s a job. The internet has made it too easy for resumes to be submitted without any effort which has bogged down the entire process such that people who might be qualified for a job get lost in the shuffle if they don’t “work” to stand out. Don’t expect people to “read between the lines” or understand that you have the qualifications for a position if you don’t make those qualifications extremely clear.
With all this being said, don’t be afraid to apply for a position where you’re missing one or two of the skills or qualifications. Often times employers put out “wish lists” and when a job has been open for a while or someone comes in who is strong in what their really needing the most, they will overlook the lack of a few things. However, don’t expect to get a call if you are missing several or a majority of skills and qualifications, applying for jobs like that simply waste your and the employers time. Instead, find a position that you are better qualified for and spend your time tailoring your resume to that position.