It’s easy to question the importance of the written content of your resume – after all, eye-tracking studies performed by TheLadders.com recently indicate that employers only look at resumes for about six seconds when deciding who to interview.
And it’s probably true in some instances that making it eye-catching is all you need. Problem is you really don’t know who will read it through and those that won’t. Remember, six seconds is an average, not the max for everyone.
So you have to make sure it reads well too and part of that is making sure the content of your resume is relevant to an employer.
Relevance goes deeper than ‘is she a dental hygienist?’ – that part is obvious. So, here’s six tips to making sure your resumes are relevant to who you are sending them to.
1. Begin with the Announcement
Relevance begins with understanding the job you are applying for. Carefully read the job announcement. Look for the keywords it lists. Do they want someone with laser experience? If you have that, make sure it’s included among your skills or duties performed. They may list other things like teamwork and helping patients stay relaxed – those are more easily brought out in your cover letter.
2. Review their Website for More Clues
After you’ve reviewed the job announcement, take a few minutes to look at the employer’s website or social media page. What kinds of things do you see there that can help you customize your resume? What words do they use to describe their approach to serving customers? Use some of that language in your resume and cover letter, too.
3. Create a “Guts” Document
Sounds gross, huh? Well, by “guts” I am talking about the guts of your resume. Keep potential lists of skills, experiences and other things you can swap in and out of your resume. Sure, you can have just one resume with one set of content, but if you have some things you can swap in and out it gives you a great opportunity to make your resume more relevant to the office you are sending it to.
4. Steal from the Best
Look for other RDH resumes on the Internet. Find statements you really like or haven’t thought to include and add them to your “guts” document for potential use. It’s hard to think up everything you do or have done on your own and it’s perfectly fine to get ideas from others.
5. Results vs Duties
Focus your text/content on results and a little less on responsibilities, tasks and duties. Dentists are business owners – they do best when they focus on patient care, but they can’t ignore the bottom line. They need an RDH that can not only make a great impression on patients but are able to help keep the practice in the black. Sharing with them tangible and in-tangible results really helps complete you as a professional.
6. Design Consideration
The last thing you want to do is make sure you are comfortable with the design of your resume and it’s relevance to the employer. I guess the main example I can think of here is if you want to apply for a job with a pediatric practice and they have lots of really bright colors and themes on their website and job announcement, you may want to have a second version of your resume that sort of reflects that.