Match Your Resume To The Job Description

Erin Kennedy

Match Your Resume To The Job Description

Deciding to begin writing an effective resume is difficult. Especially in today’s competitive world. When you first sit down to write your resume from scratch, it’s normal to sit there for several minutes before you write your first word.

Even if you have a resume you’ve used in the past, chances are some significant changes need to be made if you’re searching for a new job.

One change is to ditch the resume template. The key to writing resumes that get you hired is making your resume stand out by using easy-to-read formatting, styles and effectively using white space. The majority of people will write their resume using a template. This can help you because it will make their resume look like the hundreds of other applicants.

This brings up the point of targeting your resume to match the specific job description you’re looking at. You probably have heard that it’s important to do so, but in what ways are you supposed to match them? Here are some tips to consider when writing your resume.

Keywords Are Important

Get yourself a copy of the job description your applying for. Grab a highlighter and mark each keyword that you can find. These keywords should describe the particular candidate the employer is looking for, as well as the strengths and skills you have.

Once you identify them all, add them into your resume as high on the page as possible. Include as many keywords as you can, but be careful not to stuff too many of them in to make it sound unnatural.

Here’s an example: Instead of saying you are a “team player,” write about a specific project in which you were a team leader and had to collaborate with others in your organization. The exact keywords can come from either the job description or the industry you work in, but the focus should be specific and unique.

Read Your Resume Like an Employer

When writing a resume, we want to include our top achievements. Thinking that these are our greatest selling points. It’s easy to talk about your past experiences and accomplishments. A big mistake job applicants make is talking about previous achievements that aren’t relevant to the job they are applying for.

When writing an effective resume, you have to write it while thinking about how a potential employer will read it. They want to see what value you bring to the table for their company. By looking closely at the job description, you can identify what’s appropriate to mention and what should be avoided.

Decide What You Want From A Job

Many people think that keeping resumes broad and less detailed is the way to go.

The idea is the more general your resume, the better your chances are of landing another open position, even if you don’t qualify for the one you really want. This can lead to a sloppy resume and an unfocused job search effort.

Taking the time to discover what you want from a job, from a salary standpoint, cultural standpoint, work/life balance and more will help you target your resume.

Once you have found a job in which you are interested, match your resume to the job description. This will involve making changes each time you apply for a position. This way, you will be showing the potential employer why you are the perfect fit for the job.

About The Author

Erin Kennedy

Erin Kennedy, MCD, CMRW, CPRW, CERW, CEMC, is a Certified Professional Resume Writer/Career Consultant, and the President of Professional Resume Services, named one of Forbes "Top 100 Career Websites", and she is consistently listed as a “Top Career Expert to Follow” on Twitter. She is a nationally published writer and contributor of 16 best-selling career books. She and her team of talented, certified writers have achieved international recognition following yearly nominations of the prestigious T.O.R.I. Award (Toast of the Resume Industry). She is also one of only a few professionals worldwide to achieve the coveted “Certified Master Resume Writer” distinction.


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