Five years ago I began an exciting journey to find a new career after exiting the military. What I thought would be an experience that would provide endless opportunities and bountiful employment offers was anything but that. At this point in my life I was two years in to receiving a bachelors degree in computer science, had developed a well put resume that translated all of my military experience and training into relevant skills for the job I was seeking and had spent hours practicing responses for interview questions. In my mind I had done everything I could to prepare myself to secure my dream job. But instead I found myself working part-time for an Internet service provider making minimum wage and answering customer service requests day in and day out.
I wanted more. This was not the future I had envisioned for myself after serving five years in the Army. I was tenacious and driven. I had a solid background and compelling achievements. Even so I spent the next year daydreaming between customer service calls of the career that I wish had. The career I should have.
Beginning a job search and finding a new career is a major undertaking for any job seeker. I found transitioning into the civilian workforce after leaving the military to be especially challenging. Employers are inundated by hundreds of resumes for most job openings. Therefore, recruiters rank applicants by matching keywords and you may be overlooked if important skills and qualifications are missing from your resume. Your resume must contain the keywords employers are looking for and demonstrate the value you would bring to the company through your accomplishments.
When I began job hunting I wasted countless hours analyzing jobs for skills that aligned with my resume and comparing my resume to job descriptions. I studied each and every job posting and sent numerous resumes out weekly with no response. I just kept sending out the same resume to employer after employer without making any changes and as a result never hearing anything back.
What I ultimately discovered is that your resume is THE most important document in your job search. Customize your resume to stand out. If you want to grab hiring managers’ attention, you must take the time to tailor your resume to each job posting. Tailoring your resume to a job description is essential to stand out as the right candidate. Your resume must be focused, tailored to the job posting and professional. You need a great resume, targeted EVERY TIME to the position you are applying for. The effort you put in up front can make all the difference to whether you actually get the job you want.
Eventually I learned how to tailor my resume and align my qualifications to the position I wanted, and landed that dream job at a top-notch software company. My experience inspired me to create SkillSyncer, a keyword optimization tool designed to help job seekers optimize and tailor their resume. SkillSyncer is powered by machine learning that intelligently compares your resume to a job posting and identifies skills and keywords that are absent from your resume.