An effective job search begins with a clear idea of your target job. But after identifying your job target, stop thinking about what you want and start thinking about what the company wants.

A truly effective resume isn’t really about the job candidate—it’s about how the candidate will give the company what it wants.

Companies want more—

  • productivity
  • revenue
  • sales
  • growth
  • positive reputation
  • ideas
  • return on investment
  • value
  • money
  • efficiency
  • problem-solvers
  • service
  • customers
  • contributors
  • self-motivation
  • positive reviews

Companies want less—

  • time spent (or wasted!)
  • needless drama
  • hassle
  • problems
  • turnover
  • customer complaints
  • do-overs

Each time you apply for a new job—when you tweak your resume, customize your cover letter, or prep for the interview—spend a few minutes jotting down the company’s needs and how you can meet them. Then emphasize the results of your work and your history of solving problems and giving companies what they want.