How can you appeal to an employer? Spoon feed your resume! You would not hand an infant with no teeth a whole apple to eat; he or she wouldn’t know what to do with it. (For the uninitiated, take my word for it here. The baby may just throw it back at you and still be hungry. And crying.)
Instead, you would offer applesauce and manipulate the spoon full directly into the infant’s mouth. Similarly, (see where I am going here?), you need to give the employer exactly what he or she needs and understands with regard to what you offer that will help him or her. Just like a baby couldn’t really care less about YOUR needs, your potential employer cares most about his or her own requirements and is not all that interested in what YOU want.
To extend the analogy, you better not be serving up green beans if the baby, or, employer wants bananas! To top it off, the bananas need to be peeled, mashed and on the spoon if you want a chance to succeed.
So, two lessons from this analogy.
#1 – The resume is about the employer and how you directly fit what he or she wants. Spending a lot of time including things on your resume that are unrelated to the job at hand is only going to confuse the employer and make him or her wonder why you are interested in THIS job.
#2 – Don’t expect the employer to spend a lot of time figuring you out. If you aren’t making it easy to “eat” your resume – if you are passing crunchy apples when applesauce is preferred, you are not likely to pass the initial screen, no matter how great your underlying skills may be.
The fact is, recruiters and hiring managers are too busy to give you the benefit of the doubt. Your job is to break things down for them into easily digestible, bite-sized pieces AND spoon feed it directly to them. When you do make solid connections between what they want and what you offer, you will find that your search goes much better and your chances of landing an interview increase exponentially!