Job Search 101: Matching Your Résumé to the Job You Want

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Nowadays, having a generic résumé is probably the worst mistake a job seeker can make. Similarly, sending out endless emails with the same résumé to apply for different positions comes in a close second. Lucky for you, there’s a simple solution and we want to share it with you: tailoring your résumé to the job you’re applying for. But wait a second, does that mean changing your résumé every time you apply for a job online? No one has time for that! Worry not, job seekers, we’re here to help.

How can you make sure a recruiter actually reads your résumé and passes it along to the employer? Just follow these simple steps to match your résumé to the job you want:

1. Make your résumé easy to read: In order to accomplish this objective, you can break your résumé down into different, shorter sections. If a recruiter sees a huge chunk of text, believe us, they will never read it. Divide and identify each section to make it easier to navigate and read. Use bullet points with short descriptions for your skills and achievements. Be consistent throughout your entire résumé by using the same font and only use bold text to highlight the headings.

2. Keep it short and to the point: In average, recruiters only spend ten seconds scanning a résumé. Therefore, always try to keep your résumé under two pages. If you can manage to have all your information in just one page, even better. Keep in mind that your résumé is not your autobiography. Recruiters are looking for specific skills and experience, focus on that.

3. Improve the introduction of your résumé: Being that this is the first thing a recruiter sees when opening a résumé, always try to add information that will catch their attention. The best thing you can do is go through similar job offers and summarize what their most common requirements are in order to cover them in the top description.

4. Match the keywords on your résumé with the ones found in the job offer: Similar to the previous step, in order to have a relevant résumé, you need to focus on the job offer’s keywords. What skills are employers looking for? How many years of experience in the field? What are the most common requirements and qualifications? The best thing you can do is go through several job offers you would like to apply for, make a summary of the skills and professional requirements they’re looking for, locate the general keywords (e.g. job-related skills, years of experience, educational qualifications, and other relevant skills, such as languages and programs), and add them to your résumé. This way, the recruiter’s attention will be caught and you will increase your chances of getting an interview.

5. Personalize your cover letter: Tailoring your cover letter is even more important than matching your résumé to the job offer. The cover letter gives you more freedom in this regard and you can get close and personal with both the company and the job you’re applying for. Don’t make the mistake of sending out a generic cover letter after making the effort of tailoring your résumé, you will definitely regret it. A cover letter should be a complement of your résumé, so try not to copy the information. The keyword technique also applies in this case, so make sure some of them match the job description.

Taking all these tips into account, your résumé will definitely stand out from the rest and it’ll be more likely for recruiters or employers to select you for an interview. Start tailoring your résumé today and make sure to get your dream job!

Vanessa Fardi / NEUVOO
Online Content Editor