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Does Customizing a Resume Pay Off?

Can candidates achieve better results by building their resume around an employer's particular "competitive market landscape"?

In a Guest Comment on eFC today, recruiter Alan Geller of financial services technology search firm AG Barrington urges candidates to "Load your resume for bear," by incorporating employer-specific and role-specific wording that:

- Precisely defines the prospective employer's competitive challenge that would be addressed by hiring you.

- Details your accomplishments using "hard" or tangible criteria such as sales or profit numbers, expertise in one or more well-defined, relevant areas, or relationships with buyers.

- Illustrates the possible return on investment the employer can expect from hiring you.

What do you think? Do you feel you're not getting as many interviews or offers as your background and skill-set would justify? If not, might your resume be part of the problem? Leave your comments below, and Alan will come in and respond to the more interesting posts.

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AUTHOReFinancialCareers News Insider Comment
  • Jo
    Jon Jacobs
    17 April 2008

    5% is a pretty good response rate, career experts tell me. If you're sending in a resume cold, or answering posted ads, even Ivy League education won't lead to appreciably higher response rates than that. The best way to improve your hit rate is to combine applying with networking. Whenever you find a position that seems like a fit for you, approach people you know who have some connection with that employer (or actually work there), and ask if they're willing to forward your resume to the decision-maker. Do this ALONG WITH (i.e. not instead of) applying through regular channels - you don't want to make HR think you're bypassing them. Any resume that arrives via someone the recipient knows, has at least 10 times greater chance of getting looked at. This holds true regardless of the job, company, or industry. (And most higher-level jobs never get posted anywhere, so getting referred in is the only way to get seen, period.) -- Jon Jacobs, eFinancialCareers staff

  • An
    Anonymous
    15 April 2008

    I have been sending my resume for semi-relevant to 100% relevant positions but only hear from about 5% of them if at all. I know I have good experience. I wonder if its because I don't have Ivy league on my resume or if the competition is simply so fierce that my resume gets lost in the avalanche.

  • Al
    Al
    5 February 2008

    Hi Alan, any suggestion for people trying to make a career change into Investment Banking. I have five years of business-side IT experience and business intelligence and will finish my MBA soon.

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