Four Ways to Recession-Proof Your Resume

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With the national unemployment rate staggering at 94 percent and climbing, the competition for jobs is fierce. Millions of Zimbabweans are looking for work and hundreds - and sometimes thousands - of resumes flood employers for every job opening.

Try these tips to help recession-proof your resume:

Customise Your Resume

Surveys find that the majority of resumes received by hiring managers do not match job openings. In one survey, 92 percent of recruiters said they're swamped with irrelevant resumes. Simply customising your resume will put you miles ahead of the crowd.

Every resume you send out needs to be targeted to the job you want. Focus your resume on your qualifications, achievements, skills and experience that specifically match the job's requirements. And leave out unrelated work experience.

Some people restate the job's requirements in their summary of qualifications or objective. While it's good to nail all the essentials, vary the wording and add your own touch. Mirror the job description without just copying it.

Test your resume to ensure that it is appropriately customised.

Brand Yourself

What can you do to distinguish yourself from your competition? The answer is a branding statement that highlights your unique value proposition; the one thing that you do better than anything else. If you were an IT manager, your headline and branding statement might read something like this:

Designing next-generation technologies that consistently out-perform and out-innovate the competition”

Think about what sets you apart from the crowd. How are you better? What do you offer that others don't? Identify your unique brand and use your resume to sell it.

Show Your Value

Job applicants need to show they can meet the increased needs of a company that might be struggling with its own bottom line. Employers are looking for people who can create business, bring in customers, boost revenues, open new markets, improve quality and help them thrive (or at least survive).

Quantify the business you think you can bring a company. If you come with a Rolodex packed with potential contacts, those connections could be a goldmine to an employer. Highlight how many potential clients and connections you have at your fingertips.

Be the Solution

Employers are expecting more for less money right now. Some employers are rolling two or three jobs into one. It's a buyer's market.

Read between the lines of job descriptions to figure out what employers are looking for. Then use your resume to show your track record of filling diverse roles and juggling numerous tasks. Make it clear that you're willing to take on additional responsibilities. (You have to be willing to follow through on this if you get the job, of course.)

Tweaking your resume in just the right ways can help it rise to the top of the resume pile.


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