Recession-Proof Your Resume
It’s no secret that the global economy is entering a rough patch. From the point of view of prospective employers who are keeping a watchful eye on every penny, each hiring decision has to be weighed very carefully. For the time being, anyway, the era of taking a chance on an untested applicant who might have future potential seems to be on hold.
So what can job seekers do to increase their chances of getting hired in a tightening market? Plenty, according to Roberta Chinsky Matuson, job search consultant and president of the Massachusetts-based placement firm Human Resource Solutions. The secret lies in how you present your experience and qualifications to prospective employers.
Find the Right Frame
Now more than ever, employers are going to be going over each résumé with a fine-toothed comb. While experience and skills still count for a lot, what’s even more important is your ability to discern exactly what it is that prospective employers are looking for – and then tailor your résumé to address those criteria. The objective is to achieve as close a match as possible between what they need and what you have to offer.
Ready to recession-proof your résumé? Use these tips from the experts to retool your application materials and increase your chances of landing a position in tough economic times.
Set out to sell yourself.
For most of us, self-promotion is a skill that doesn’t come naturally. It can be tempting to tamp down your achievements and accomplishments, burying them in a flood of stale résumé-speak and safe-but-boring jargon. But in a tough economy, you can’t afford not to stand out from the crowd. Be sure to highlight all of your achievements in clear, dynamic, engaging language.
Echo their language, aims, and themes.
Whether you’re responding to a job advertisement or sending in an unsolicited résumé, it pays to take the time to identify and hone in on the specific skills, values, and attributes prospective employers are seeking. If you don’t have a help-wanted ad to work from, check out the company’s website, paying special attention to their mission statement. Then, when you tweak your résumé, make sure to highlight the specific skills, values, and attributes they identify as being most important to them. In a recession, employers are looking for a perfect match, and this technique can help you fit the bill.
Make your case with hard facts and figures.
Many résumé writers tend to aim for vague generalities and abstract attributes, focusing on their “communication skills” and ability to work as a “team player.” In a tough market, you need to move beyond these kinds of generic claims about your experience and focus on specifics. List each of your pertinent skills and responsibilities, and then back them up with fact-based bullets that explicitly prove your point.
Highlight your adaptability.
In a recession, employers are looking for workers who can maximize productivity and efficiency. If you have any past experiences that attest to your ability to thrive in multiple roles or to learn quickly in a new environment, be sure to highlight them on your résumé. Underscore your willingness to cross-train and to take on more responsibility.
Stand out from the crowd.
When employers are wary about taking on new hires, it’s vital that every last detail of your résumé is picture-perfect. Be sure to eliminate all errors, and consider making the small investment necessary to have your application materials professionally printed. If possible, ask a knowledgeable friend or mentor for their objective opinion before you send out your résumé.
With the right résumé in hand, it’s possible to beat the tough odds that are facing job seekers today. Opportunities in the hospitality industry are still out there for the taking – all you have to do is find the right one and craft a résumé they can’t refuse.