As a resume screener and interviewer, I’ve had a lot of resumes come my way that just don’t match the job. It’s like they never even saw the job description. And it makes me so sad for the person, who may actually have the experience we’re looking for – but no one in the company will ever get to find out!
Look. I know how hard job search is on a job seeker. I’ve been there many many times myself. So please don’t think I’m being callous. But seriously, if you don’t take the time to help us know how well you match, we won’t take the time to read your resume. It’s that simple.
How you can help your resume match the job description
Some steps to get your resume seen with different eyes and, more importantly, selected for real interviews:
- Start with the job description that the company put together. If they took the time to put these words on paper, they are looking for at least some similar words or ideas on your resume. Show them as many matches as possible – while keeping it real, of course.
- Highlight all the keywords and phrases in the job description, as well as those job requirements that seem most important. Err on the side of including more at this point.
- Now look at your resume. How many places can you find to add some of those keywords and phrases?
- Look for ways to edit your existing accomplishments to emphasize where you have what they’re looking for.
- Consider adding a Skill Highlights or Primary Skills section (or whatever you want to call it) at the top of your resume, just under your name and contact info. Use the job description to help you choose which skills or accomplishments to include there.
- Look at your resume again, carefully comparing it to the job description.
- Edit to help tighten how well you match!
Some final thoughts
Resume screeners have far too many resumes to go through to try to guess at what they can’t see. And they also view your ability and willingness to communicate clearly as a good thing; a strong, targeted resume can show them you pay attention to such things. If you don’t take the time, they won’t either.
But it just takes a little extra effort on your part to help them see how qualified you are. You’ll be surprised at how many more interviews you can get when your resume actually matches what the job description says they’re looking for.
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