How to Tailor a Resume to the Job DescriptionBy Vik Vein Last Modified 2019-10-30
Did you ever wish you could just get inside the recruiter’s head to learn what exactly they’re looking for? Needless to say, you’re not the only job seeker out there who struggles to predict and address the expectations of recruiters.
Well, I’m going to let you in on a secret: what all recruiters are looking for are relevant skills and achievements. By incorporating them into your resume and cover letter, you’ll deliver an application that perfectly matches the job posting and instantly grabs recruiters’ attention.
Here are four tips to help you learn how to write a resume that is perfectly tailored to a job posting.
1. Hunt for Relevant Keywords
Take a close look at the job posting. Now highlight all required skills and experience.
You’ll find three types of skills:
- Job-related Skills: You need these skills to do the job. Most skills listed in the job description will fall under this category.
Example: Managing social media campaigns
- Transferable Skills: These are skills you can use across different jobs. You’ll find some of them on the job posting as well.
Example: Speaking French
- Adaptive Skills: These skills help you survive in your everyday life and carry out basic human interactions.
First, look for job-related skills. Once you find them, screen yourself with these skills in mind. You need to have most of them. Otherwise, you won’t be able to do this job. If you’ve got them – great! Put these skills in the top third of your resume so recruiters can easily find them.
Next, look for transferable skills. They’re not must-haves, but it’s good to show recruiters that you have them, so include these skills in relevant places of the experience section in your resume.
Finally, find adaptive skills. They’re usually hiding under adjectives such as “precise” or “hardworking”. Use them when describing yourself and you’re bound to become more attractive in the eyes of recruiters.
2. Boost Your Skill Set by Adding Numbers and Details
Now that you’ve listed your most important skills and incorporated them into your resume or CV (make sure you know the difference between resumes and CVs), you need to make sure that recruiters pay attention to them.
You can do that by adding relevant numbers and details. Be specific and don’t be afraid to brag a little. Showing how you used these skills in your past jobs is critical to show recruiters that you’re a perfect candidate.
Instead of writing “Customer Service,” go for something like this: “Decreased complaints by 15% through efficient customer service.” Sounds better, doesn’t it?
Providing such details, you’ll help recruiters visualize you achieving similar results on the position for which they’re hiring.
3. Take Extra Care About Your Cover Letter
Now that you’ve tailored your resume, it would be a shame to forget about the other essential component of your application – the cover letter.
Recruiters are bound to scan your cover letter in search for relevant keywords as well. When talking about your experience and skills, stick to the keywords you used in your resume.
Being consistent in your keyword usage will give you a competitive advantage over other candidates.
4. Here’s One Final Trick For You
To find out whether you did a great job tailoring your resume, drop it into a free word cloud generator. You’ll be able to see which words figure most prominently in your resume. If these aren’t your keywords or skills, reexamine your resume and rewrite some of its sections to make sure relevant words show up throughout your application.
Also, make sure to read the review of the job search diary that will definitely help you land your dream job faster!
Hiring managers spend an average of six seconds scanning a resume for relevance. Tailoring your resume to match the job posting, you’re not only boosting its relevance to the advertised position but also show recruiters that you take extra care in presenting yourself as the right fit for the job. Tailor your resume to every job posting, and you’re guaranteed to make a great impression on hiring managers.
What are you waiting for? Start hunting for keywords and craft a resume that is perfectly tailored to land you your dream job. Take a look at the infographic below to see how Cathy Smith tailored her resume to her job offer.
About the Author:
Natalie is a writer at Zety. She writes about how to create successful resumes so that you can land your dream job. When she isn’t writing, she eats tacos and reads complicated novels.