Customize Your Resume for Each Employer
The Scratch Resume Technique
Instead of using your "standard" resume, take the time to create a resume from scratch, designed specifically for the company in which you are interested. Instead of starting with your features and benefits, start with the employer in mind, ideally for a job posting you a specifically targeting. Make sure your resume covers all of the qualifications required for the role. Most companies assume that your resume is static, so when they see one that emphasizes the exact points that are important to them, they will be impressed.
An alternative form of this technique is to simply modify your objective to target a specific industry, geography, or even a specific company and their needs. For example, if you are attempting to set up an interview with several companies in the insurance industry, you may want to incorporate insurance industry wording into your objective. Or if you have specific geographical areas targeted, you can modify your objective to target each one of these areas.
The I-Only-Love-You Technique
Is there one company that you would really truly love to work for? Tell them so! How? Simple. By using the specific company name in the Objective section of your resume. Example:
"Staff Auditor position with EY."
That says it all! If you love them, tell them so.
P.S. As in love, don't go telling this to more than one employer at any given point in time—otherwise you could begin to look rather fickle and it loses its impact. Case in point: the employer asks you: "Did you do this just for us? Or for others as well?" You need to be able to say "Just for you. You are my dream employer."
The Company Logo Technique
If there is a specific company you have targeted, another technique you can use is to incorporate the company logo into your objective. You can usually get a copy of the logo from the company's website. It may take some creative effort to get it sized and aligned, but the effect can be very impressive.
While I worked for IBM, we received a resume with the IBM logo emblazoned into the individual's objective in imperial blue with the trademark horizontal stripes. Did we show it around the office? You bet! Did the person get the interview? Yes, he did. Did he get the job? Yes, he did.
The Trashproof Resume Technique
Entry level candidate resumes often end up getting filed in the "circular file" or "trash folder" (either literally or figuratively). Want to ensure that your resume will actually see the light of day? Simply call before and after sending your resume. And when you call before, make sure you tell them that you will also be calling after. If the employer knows that the resume will be referenced again in the near future, it will be filed for quick access. Better yet, it may remain on the Hiring Manager's desktop, ready and waiting for you to call. So make sure you do.