The Customer (AHEM, the target employer) Comes First in a Job Search

That’s right, the target employer must come first in your job search. I know, you think I am crazy because this goes against the mainstream belief that we are talking about ourselves in our resume. But I am here to help you appreciate the old saying “the customer comes first”.

In my role as a Resume Writer and Career Coach, I see upwards of fifty resumes a month. A common theme continues to arise – resumes are for the job seeker and their needs, not for their target audience. This is a misconception because a resume is not actually for the job seeker at all.

Job seekers continue to send resume documents that describe what they need/want from an employer. The reality, however, is that a well-written resume that gets results will go beyond what your objective is. A great resume will help an employer recognize how you will contribute to organizational initiatives and growth for their business.

For your job search to be successful your resume must showcase your strengths as they relate to the specific job you are targeting. Demonstrate how each previous position you have held transfers to the position you seek. Use accomplishment statements that show you can problem solve and that highlights your transferable skills. Market yourself in a way that will make you the best candidate for the position you are applying for.

Don’t just provide a chronology of your career history. Provide details of how you helped push an organization forward or how you helped solve a company’s pain points.

During my coaching sessions, I guide my clients through the visualization practice of thinking of themselves as a company that is selling themselves to prospective employers. With this concept in mind, it is good practice to think of the target employer or company as “your customer”.

Your resume is one piece of your marketing toolkit and therefore it is essential to grab your customers’ attention immediately. For your resume to get the results you want; it is necessary to understand your customers and market your expertise to them.

As a business owner, it is imperative that you understand your customers’ needs. Similarly, as a job seeker and CEO of your career, you must understand your target audiences’ needs and buying motivators. When you find a position to apply to, it is good practice to keep this analogy in mind. Think of the company/ prospective employer as your customer. The customer is “always right”, the customer “comes first”, and the customer “knows what they want”. If you want your customers’ business, then you need to stand out and demonstrate why your skills and qualifications will deliver the results the employer is looking for. Sell yourself and win against your competitors.

With the customers’ needs in mind, and your resume written specifically for that target job you are more likely to make it past the first screening round and land the interview you seek. Then, it is time to present your marketing brand in person – that is another topic for another day!


Thank you for reading my blog. If you need help learning how to compel hiring managers to take action and bring your career to new heights, contact me at