Matching your resume to the job description ensures it grabs the hiring manager’s attention, even if they are just scanning it. Hiring managers go through hundreds of resumes, cover letters, and applications for each job opening, so they don’t always read every detail of your submission.
In addition to making your job application stand out, a tailored resume helps emphasize your skills that align with the job, showing you’re a good fit for the position. It demonstrates enthusiasm and interest in the role, and hiring managers are likely to notice your extra efforts.
How to Match Your Resume to the Job Description
There are several important steps for writing a resume that matches a job description.
Highlight keywords from the job description
Read through the job posting and highlight recurring words, themes, skills, qualifications, and job requirements. Take note of the skills mentioned first or repeated most often as these are the priority areas for the employer and should form the basis of your customized resume.
While a general resume exhibits your skill set as a whole, a tailored resume should mirror the priorities outlined by the employer. Emphasize the highlighted keywords throughout your resume, focusing on the key qualifications and skills from the job description.
Tailoring your resume in this way is also beneficial if the hiring company uses an applicant tracking system (ATS) to sort applications. These systems filter resumes using keywords, locations, and other important metrics to find suitable candidates quickly.
Update your resume summary
The summary section is the first thing a hiring manager sees at the top of your resume, so updating the summary should be used to showcase your capabilities and explain how you’re a perfect fit for the job. Keep this part brief and to the point but include the job title, relevant experience, and three to four of the key skills mentioned in the job description.
If you’re struggling to find skills that align with those in the job description, get creative. Talk about transferable skills that are useful for all jobs or emphasize your adaptability and willingness to take on new responsibilities.
Create work experience sections
The work experience section of your resume is often the first place a hiring manager will look to see whether you have relevant experience. Although it’s important to be transparent about your industry experience, this is the perfect section to tailor your resume.
Input the specific language from the job description to emphasize the importance of your previous work. It can be useful to bullet point key skills under each section.
While a long work history may be impressive and necessary for some applications, it creates a cluttered resume. Try to focus on the most relevant experience, highlighting the responsibilities and skills that align with the job description.
To find creative and alternative ways to frame the role, research similar listings on Jobsfuel.com. This can give you a fresh perspective on your job history, showing you different ways to sell your skill set.
Include accomplishments and achievements
List accomplishments and achievements that highlight proficiency in the important areas mentioned in the job description. You could also conduct additional research on the company and compare the relevance of your achievements to their past projects.
It is a bonus if these achievements are quantifiable. For example, you could talk about a social marketing campaign you headed, resulting in a 20% sales increase. Facts and statistics are more likely to resonate with a hiring manager than general information as they show measurable value.
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