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Why to Match Your Resume to Specific Job Description

Why to Match Your Resume to Specific Job Description

If your goal is to get hired in this competitive job market, then put a pause on submitting the same resume to multiple openings. For hiring managers, your resume is the very first impression and that impression alone can make or break your progress. In order to stand out from the crowd, you need to revise your resume to match each role that you apply to.

Majority of job listings strongly prefer relevant professional work experience. This means your resume job description needs to provide what the hiring manager is looking for. If it doesn’t, the chances of your resume getting selected are very slim. Often times, most job-seekers only create one resume that they send out with every application. This saves time but the same resume is unlikely to meet all the requirements of all the jobs you’re applying to.

To ensure that your resume is getting selected at the first round and the ATS software isn’t doing much harm to your chances of getting selected, you need to tailor your resume to each position. This article will show you exactly how to do that so you can increase your chances of landing your dream job.

What is a Resume Job Description?

Your resume job description is where you list your work history. Usually it is advised to begin with your most recent job and work your way backward, listing previous positions in reverse chronological order. This section is the most important part of your resume because it tells hiring managers whether you’re qualified for the role you’re applying to.

An ideal Job Description should contain the following points:

  • Job Title
  • Company Name
  • Company Location
  • Dates of Employment
  • Job Responsibilities
  • Measurable Accomplishments

Your Job Responsibilities are the duties you’re expected to perform. They include the tasks you had been handling at your previous work. Ideally, it is advised to provide measurable accomplishments as well. These are usually accomplishments that you can describe with numbers or metrics. These accomplishments tell hiring managers what you did, and how well you did it. It is always a good idea to use bullet points to describe your responsibilities and accomplishments. This breaks down your information into easily-scanned digestible chunks.

Why Should you tailor your Resume Job Description?

Most companies now-a-days use computer software to help them hire employees. This software is called an applicant tracking system, or ATS. When you send in your resume, it goes right into an ATS database. Hiring managers search the database for suitable resumes by typing keywords into the ATS search bar. These keywords are usually job titles and the skills needed for the job.

If your resume contains these keywords, it will be seen by the hiring manager. If your resume doesn’t contain these keywords, it will remain hidden in the database.

The keywords a hiring manager will type into the ATS search bar will vary from job to job. By tailoring each resume for the specific job you’re applying to, you’ll increase the chances that a hiring manager will find it and offer you an interview.

Benefits of tailoring your resume

Providing a tailored resume can help you stand out amongst the other applicants and improve your chances of getting selected for an interview. Mentioned below are a few benefits of tailoring your resume:

  • Demonstrates your alignment with the job

When hiring managers are looking at your resume, their prime goal is to understand how well you fit the job requirements. They usually look for skills and experiences that match the job role. By focussing on the most relevant experiences and skills, you demonstrate a proven record of performing similar responsibilities.

  • Highlights your Interest in the Job

Tailoring your resume can display genuine enthusiasm for the job because you took the extra time and effort to ensure it showcases your best-fit qualifications. Hiring managers will appreciate this thoughtfulness and prefer a candidate who seems eager to work for them.

  • Showcases the values you bring to the organisation

Organisations value candidates who bring value to the organisation. Focussing on your most applicable skills and relevant accomplishments shows them that you are considering their needs, and not just what the job can do for you.

  • Can help pass ATS software

Tailoring your resume and adding the relevant keywords can improve the chances of your resume passing the tracker and eventually landing in the hiring manager’s hands, thus getting you an offer for the interview.

How to tailor your resume

  • Review the Job Description

Review the job description thoroughly to understand the requirements of the employer in order to perform the job. Read its description and write down or highlight any significant keywords related to skills. These may be words or phrases that seem unique to the job or reoccur throughout the posting. Understand the requirements that the description highlights and then tailor your resume accordingly using the correct keywords and phrases.

  • Compare with your Resume

Now that you understand the requirements of the employer, review your own resume and making the necessary changes wherever required. Place your key qualifications in the top half of the page using your summary and experience sections, which will ensure that the hiring manager sees that you fit the role right away. Ensure to use a functional format that highlights your skills and experiences properly.

  • Update your Summary

The summary section is at the top of your resume and naturally becomes the first thing hiring managers notice. In case you do decide to put up a summary, use it to showcase your most relevant skills and accomplishments based on the keywords of your research.

  • Customize your Work History

Your work history is one section that hiring managers read the most sincerely. If you have a long work history, this may mean you need to minimize or remove any positions that do not align with the current job position you are applying for. Use bulleted points under each position to describe your work and use relevant keywords. Keep in mind to ensure that your first bullet points should represent the most relevant responsibilities or tasks.

  • Quantify your achievements

Be selective about what you include in your resume. Put emphasis on accomplishments over job responsibilities. Use numbers and action verbs to describe your roles and responsibilities. Numbers exhibit how well you did in your job and action verbs make your resume more vibrant and interesting to read.

  • Update your skills section

Your summary and work history may not include all the relevant skills you have, so add any remaining ones to your skills section. List your skills in order of importance that the employer needs. Use exact keywords from the job description to describe about your skills.

  • Proofread your Resume

Review your resume to ensure you have used the employer’s keywords and phrases, and your resume has no grammatical and spelling errors. Compare your summary section to the overall job description and evaluate whether they match or not. Make necessary changes, if any. Also ensure that every bullet point in your work history is relevant to the job’s responsibilities and requirements.

Tailoring your resume as per every job application can be a tiring process, but its totally worth it. Highlighting your strengths but largely ignoring the job requirements could lead to your resume ending up in the garbage bin. In this very competitive job market, taking time to do that audit could make the difference between making it to the interview stage or being passed over.


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