How to Shape Words for a Functional Resume
And to this end, you need to tailor your resume to harmonize with general market needs as well as specific needs of the job. Unless you have had a stellar track record, traditional resumes will fail to work for you in a recessive economy, and you need to give your resume a full face make-up.
This does not mean that you lie or make false claims on your resume that you will fail to support if called upon. However, intelligent shaping of words and phrases, and well-planned presentation of your self is needed. More often than not, resumes use stereotyped approaches, words, and phrases that have lost their utility by being boringly repeated on every second resume an employer happens to receive. So, changing the words and phrases on your resume by suitable substitutes, every now and then, is good strategy. You also need to align your presentation according to current market needs.
So, what does the current market want in an employee? In a recessive economy, every employer wants employees who can handle multiple tasks and can be viably shifted from one project to another, or if necessary, from one vertical to another, easily. So, pointing out your flexibility and versatility in carrying out job roles, as well as your readiness to accept other job roles than the initial one, becomes essential under the present economy.
Take for example, an opening statement like:
''Senior Java developer with eight years in java programming and development looking for suitable opportunities of growth.''
It looks good and does it work except when it fails, for it is not geared to the current economic crisis. The fault in that statement is that the candidate is restricting himself or herself into a narrower role than accredited by his or her abilities, and is also stating inflexibility and reluctance to accept other roles than defined by him or her.
Now how about,
''Senior computer programmer with eight years in java programming and development looking for new challenges.''
This statement broadens the presentation of the candidate from a narrower role ''java developer'' to a broader role ''computer programmer.'' It does so without losing an inch on presentation of core competencies, ''eight years in java programming and development.'' But it clearly states flexibility and readiness to accept new roles, ''looking for new challenges,'' rather than ''suitable opportunities of growth,'' which only states the desire to continue in the present role, as well as highlighting the discretion of the candidate ''suitable,'' which employers find irritating.
The latter statement is more aligned to current market realities and employer needs, for it broadens the presented job role and projects flexibility. If an employer is looking for a senior java programmer, the statement made later is sufficient for considering the candidate as much as the first one. However, if the employer is looking for a flexible employee, and thinking of new development in different verticals, which modern employers often do, then the first statement will fail to grab his or her attention, but the second one will. This is the approach that needs to be taken while drafting each statement on a resume. Every statement must be aligned to current needs and should not restrict your projected image.