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The Only Resume Tip You’ll Ever Need

March 20, 2013
Categories: Careers & Job Advice 1 Comment

Twitterviews are trending, and the job search seems to get more “social” every day.

But here’s a little secret: Standing out in a sea of candidates isn’t as tough as you may think.

Resumes are still incredibly relevant to the job search, and if you follow this one tip, you’ll have everything you need to get noticed.

So what is the one and only piece of advice you’ll ever need to get your job search off on the right foot?

Tailor Your Resume to the Job Description

Sure, you could take the path of least resistance and send off a generic resume to tens of companies, hoping that one might stick.

But odds are unlikely that this method will result in a great opportunity.

Why Tailoring Your Resume Works

Functions with Recruiting Technology
It’s unlikely that an actual human is the first one to read your resume. Most hiring managers and recruiters use some degree of applicant tracking system (ATS) technology to organize and sort through resumes.

Employers may search through a huge database of candidates using keywords that are present in the job description, or the ATS might automatically match candidates to job openings based on keywords and phrases.

Tailoring your resume to the job description ensures that the right keywords and phrases are present in your resume, keeping you out of the virtual slush pile.

Makes The Employer’s Job Easier
When your resume fits a specific job description, you’ve already done the work for the person analyzing your experience. You take the guesswork out of whether or not your experience as Project Manager includes knowledge of hardware infrastructure. It’s obvious in your resume.

Highlighting your relevant experience makes it simple for employers to put you on the interview shortlist.

Prevents Unnecessary Heartache
There’s nothing worse than carrying on a fruitless job search. Coping with rejection and silence from prospective employers can deplete your confidence and dampen your outlook.

Tailoring your skills and experience to the job description requires you to take a step back and evaluate if you are actually a good fit for the position, saving you unnecessary heartache over the wrong job.

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How to Tailor Your Resume to the Job Description

Gather Your Experience
Tailoring your resume to a job description doesn’t need to be super difficult and time consuming.

Set your job search up for success by keeping a detailed, generic resume up to date. This can be a chronological list of the positions you’ve held, your accomplishments in each position, a laundry list of your skills and certifications, and your education.

That way, you don’t have to rack your brain to remember that you designed web services security architecture for a SaaS company as a Technical Architect 8 years ago.

Analyze the Job Description
Pay attention to criteria listed in the job description and requirements. Highlight each criteria that you can relate to your own experience, whether directly or indirectly.

Extract Your Most Relevant Experience
Now you’re prepared to go through your generic resume and pick out the on the job experience, skills, certifications, and education that match the job description. Eliminate irrelevant bullet points, or spin them to support the job requirements.

Reflect the Job Description
As you reorganize your resume, match the language used in the job description. So if the job description consistently uses the term data gathering, reflect that you “mitigated risk related to data collection/data gathering” in your last position.

Despite the buzz about Twitterviews, social resumes, and online profiles, the resume is still the most widely used method of assessing candidates. Tailoring your resume to the job description puts your resume at the top of the candidate stack.

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image from here.

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Comments

    Dennis:
    3/21/2013

    Very good points. Don’t forget that many skills are transferrable and may translate well in a variety of roles. Your resume is the place for you to demonstrate that!

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    Wrong usage of print_flagging_link().
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