Attention job-seekers! Although it may be tempting to send a generic resume to every available position to expedite the process, this “reply to all” strategy will most likely not land you a job.
The purpose of an application is to demonstrate that you are the best fit candidate for the position. In order to effectively communicate this you will want to match your skills with the job’s qualifications. To make things easy on the employer, only include what is most relevant on your resume and cut out anything that is not adding value to your application.
But how will you know what to keep and what to cut? Great question! The job description should be used as a guide when customizing your resume.
Highlight Key Words in the Job Description
First things first, read through the job description to get an understanding of what the position entails. Job descriptions are typically developed through a careful analysis of the various tasks that make up the position. The employer will write the job description using language that is meant to attract the perfect candidate for that position. It is important to take notice of key words in the description, because these words will tell you what an employer is looking for in a candidate.
Here are some examples of key words to highlight in a job description:
Also pay attention to specific skills that the job description mentions such as knowledge of certain software, language skills, or certifications.
Now that you know what the employer is looking for, you can tailor your resume to reflect those qualifications.
Tailoring the “Master Resume”
Employers like to see that you have tailored your application to the specific job you are applying for. Looking for a job is already hard work, so how can you be expected to rewrite your resume for every position?
Keep a “master resume” with all of your experience and skills. You can update this master resume periodically to ensure that you are keeping track of all your accomplishments. After reading through the job description look through the master resume and remove what is least relevant to job. This way you don’t have to start from scratch.
After you have slimmed down you master resume, talk about your accomplishments with the same language used in the job description throughout your tailored resume. This language will resonate with the employer as they review your application.
Adding an Objective Statement
You have read the job description, tailored your resume, and even sprinkled some of the employer’s own language into your application to show you are the perfect person for the job.
To ensure that all your hard work does not go unnoticed, add an attention-grabbing objective statement at the top of your resume (below your contact information). An objective is a short (1-2 sentences) statement that gives a brief introduction to your resume. This should be very specific to the position and company you are applying for.
Here are 3 things that you should include:
- The name of the position
- The name of the company
- What you have to offer the employer
The objective statement is the wrapping and bow that the employer sees before they get to your resume. This is a great way to give the employer a quick glance at who you are and make a great first impression.
Now you have a tailor-made resume with all the right words and a hard-hitting objective statement as the cherry on top!
Article contributions by: Tyla McClain