Monday, June 3, 2013

Resumes – One size does NOT fit all!

On May 20th (my first guest post on Kate’s Blog) we promised more on resume customization.  A resume should be a fluid document tailored for each position and company. Homework needs to be done before submitting your resume.  The same key does not work on every door.

Titles vary depending on the company.  Merchant, Buyer, Product Manager, Brand Manager, Product Line Manager and Category Manager can all be titles for similar roles (check out more merchant titles from Kate’s May 31st post).  If you are a Merchant applying at a company where the same position is titled as Buyer, what can you do?  You can’t misrepresent your current title but you can use a slash: Merchant/Buyer.   You can also use a headline under your name that captures your current title and the title you are targeting.

Kari Harsch

Recruiting - Talent Acquisition - Executive Search

Product category, language and customer should be termed accurately.  Plus Size can be called Plus, Extended Sizes, or Women’s.  Sometimes it is accessories and sometimes it is Non Apparel.  Does the company use the term Children’s, Kids, Youth, Tween, Juniors, Little Girl, Girl etc.?  Make sure your resume language matches the job posting. 

Carefully review the job description of the role you are targeting.  Almost all postings include responsibilities and skill requirements.   Address each of these responsibilities with your success in that discipline.  For example a posting states:

·         Drive product development timelines to ensure calendar deliverables and dates are being met.

If you are able to quantify past success in this responsibility it should be a bullet.  For example:

·         Shortened the product development timeline 2 weeks in swim by coordinating first fitting with key vendor present.

Skill Requirements can be more challenging because they tend to be less measurable.  For example the posting reads:

·         Attention to detail, follow-through and organization skills are critical.

Potential resume bullet:

·         Drive 150 styles from concept through top of production approval working with a cross functional team of 6 and 15 external vendors, meeting all calendar deadlines through attention to detail and follow up.

Be careful that your resume doesn’t read like a posting but communicates your actual performance/contributions related to your responsibilities.   Include all relevant product categories you have worked on.

Most companies share a lot of corporate culture information on their career sites, their LinkedIn and Facebook pages.  Reading this information will help you write your resume in a tone that fits their values and culture.  While it might seem easier to write one resume, the extra time you invest will increase your odds of being contacted for further discussion.

Have you ever applied for something that you were confident you were a great fit for and never had the chance to speak to anyone?  Are their additional steps you might have been able to take?  We would love to hear about your successes and challenges regarding your resume as a first step to winning an interview.

In my next post June 17th,  I will discuss how to follow up once you have submitted your resume to an employer.

You can always see what open roles we are recruiting for at

No comments:

Post a Comment