Tim Adams wrote a very interesting article about big data and job searching a few years ago. He said that looking for a job is all about big data, not well you perform in an interview. He pointed out that companies are using big data to get better insights on the types of candidates they want. This is good news for job seekers as well. They can reverse engineer the algorithms used for hiring decisions to find companies that they will align with. This all begins with creating a resume. How can big data help you with your resume?
Big Data is the Key to Creating the Perfect Resume
Only one out of every 200 resumes leads to an interview. That means yours has to grab the reader’s attention from their first scan of its contents without resorting to gimmicks. How do you sell yourself in under 10 seconds? With a summary of your goals and strengths that’s tailored to the particular job and company. Think of it as your branding statement. Hiring managers need to know that you’re a good fit and have the skills for the position before wasting their time – or yours – on an interview. But this doesn’t help you much if you don’t know what the specific employer needs. Every employer is looking for something different. This is where big data comes into play. There are lots of ways job seekers can use analytics to learn as much as possible about the company culture and make a better decision. This is one of the points that Adams hit on. It enables them to focus on a small subset of companies they want to target and tailor their resumes accordingly.
Can Big Data Help You Create a Resume Summary?
The summary should contain one or two sentences at most. It should be enticing enough to make whomever reads it want to know more about you. Research the company a bit before you submit your resume. This will help you tailor your summary for that company. Where do you find this information? You can start with employment databases and job sites. They have vast data sets on these companies and their employees, which will help you make the best decisions. Sometimes job listings have a detailed description. Use any keywords that stick out from the listing to craft your summary. You can also use them in your cover letter and expand upon them a bit. Let the company know, in as succinct a manner as possible, what you hope to gain from the experience as well as what you bring to the table. If it helps, you can make a checklist to ensure you have all of the elements needed for a memorable introduction.
- Talk about areas of expertise that are relevant to the position but avoid using generic buzzwords like “results-driver”, “proven track record”, or “team player”.
- Mention your years of experience.
- Briefly mention industries you’ve worked in, awards or citations, and professional organizations you’ve joined.
- Couched experience in relation to results, such as “increased sales by x amount”.
This is one of the most important areas where big data will help. You can use big data to find the most important selling points for most of your target companies and succinctly condense them into this summary.
Filling in the rest of the Resume to Highlight Your Attributes
Any company is a small community, so fitting in with the corporate family is essential. They want to know that any employee they bring in will mesh well. The rest of your resume should discuss more about your work history and special skills, using terminology that shows you’re a good fit for the company. An overview of your skills should include those that are most transferable, especially if you’re looking for a position in a new industry. Your resume should convey what you can do for the company, not what they can do for you. What puts you on another level from other candidates for the position? How will your skills and experience help the company fulfill their mission? For career-specific resumes, it helps to look at samples from other successful job candidates in your field. This will give you an idea of which skills are most sought-after in your industry. In marketing, branding is everything. You are your brand, so package yourself as a desirable product in the job market. Think of your resume as a brochure that highlights what you bring to the table. Your resume should offer solutions to a company’s problem, which is finding a suitable candidate who can do the job while fitting in with their corporate community. Doing so will place you ahead of the many others who are looking to fill the same position. You only have about 10 – 20 seconds to make a favorable impression with your resume. Make them count.
Final Thoughts: Use Big Data to Create the Perfect Resume
Information is gold when you are looking for a job. You can use big data to learn as much as possible about prospective employers. This enables you to make a data-driven strategy and optimize your resume for the best results.