When applying to jobs, your resume is often the recruiter’s only hard link to you. Most people understand this and go to great lengths to ensure that their resume is well-written and aesthetically pleasing.
However, the quality of a resume doesn’t matter at all if the employer deems you to not be the right fit. To be judged as “not a good fit” isn’t a reflection of your skillset and experience, it’s a reflection of your inability to frame that skill set and experience in the proper context. Don’t worry, that’s something we can help you change!
Here are some tips for creating a resume that’s a better fit for corporate culture.
1. Identify Company Values Through Their Websites
Company web sites in many ways are marketing and PR tools, but if you look at the content you can discover a lot of information on the corporation’s mission, character, and philosophy. They may even talk about their corporate culture, hiring practices, and employment advantages they provide.
Are they focused on innovation? Community involvement? Do they have employee fitness, education, or career advancement programs?
Mention your own interests and experience in these areas where it relates to job history. Try to find some key phrases that express these corporate values and use them in your resume. If you can, express an insight or two of your own. However, keep it concise and remember that you’re writing a resume, not an autobiography.
2. Identify Key Company Players Through Social Media
Try to get the names of managers and key employees you might be working for or with. Find them on social sites. Check the professional profiles of these individuals to see what their own values, skills, and experiences are. With a little research, you can get a good idea of what kind of character is valued, and what their expectations and key areas of focus are.
This will help you know what lens you should frame your key experiences and skills through. For instance, if you can tell that they value longevity, explain in your resume why some of your positions were short-lived.
3. Identify and Make Use of Professional Resources
Find resources related to the corporation’s industry. Are there professional associations, trade magazines, conferences, seminars, web courses, etc.? Look especially for any that appear on corporate professional profiles.
Join organizations and list them on your resume. Read a few trade journals, attend a few conferences or webinars. Inject some of what you learn to highlight your familiarity with the processes involved.
I remember one applicant at a corporation I consulted for: he learned through LinkedIn that all the members of a marketing team he was applying to were working towards HubSpot Inbound Marketing Certification, and signed up for the course himself so that he could include it on his resume. He got the job!
4. Learn the Job Description
Search career and professional sites to learn more about the job description you’re applying for. Review posted resumes and profiles. Make note of talents and experiences that these people seem to consider important. If a particular type of equipment is mentioned often, learn about it and work it into your experience.
Also look for activities the job might involve, such as projects, travel, or presentations. Try to include frequently used buzz words or phrases.
5. Hard Skills
Determine what the critical job skills are and be sure to know them. For instance, if most candidates highlight using a business intelligence dashboard, you’ll want that on your resume. Most hiring managers will be looking for core skills that they feel are essential to doing the job.
If they don’t see that you possess these skills, your resume will probably be set aside regardless of anything else it says about you.
6. Soft Skills
Think of these as “people skills”. Make reference to your ability to resolve conflicts, take or give orders, work as part of a team, or deal with customers. Talk about your work ethic and dedication.
Whatever soft skills relate to the position you’re applying for, discuss them. If you’re applying for more of a leadership role, mention your willingness to take responsibility, mentor employees, and support the corporate mission.
All of these can seem like a lot to put into a one or two-page resume. Try to look at it like this: if there’s information on your resume that isn’t helping your case, remove it. With a corporate resume, it’s not so much about selling yourself as crafting a profile that would be the perfect fit.