Job hunting is a crucial but taxing part of a working professional’s life and the first step in this journey is always the resume.
Applying with the perfect resume can boost your chances of getting hired and help you land your dream job.
But what makes a resume perfect?
We have several blogs to help you with resume writing, and the one suggestion we include in each of them is to send a customized resume that matches the job description every time you apply.
In this article, we try to answer how to do it! Here are five easy ways to tailor your resume to a job description to get shortlisted and land your dream job.
How to tailor a resume to a job description?
Many job seekers apply with the same resume to multiple positions, but it does not always work out as every recruiter seeks the perfect fit for their company.
Customizing the resume is a great way to tell the recruiters that you are a good fit.
It may look like a tedious task, but it is simple! To help you here are some ways to help you tailor your resume with ease.
1. Understand the importance of tailoring your resume
Before any tips and tricks, let us understand why we need to tailor a resume for every job posting.
The old-school way of applying to jobs was to forward your CV/resume to as many job openings as possible. But with the increasing competition, this approach has become inefficient and outdated.
A customized resume helps you stand out and attract more eyeballs as it highlights the most relevant aspects of your experience, making it easy for the recruiter to pick you over other applications.
2. Make a master list of your skills
Before tailoring the resume, evaluate your competency in different aspects and make a master list based on it.
It can work as a guide to listing relevant skills in a resume. Sift through the extensive list and find the most suitable skills based on the job description or the job role to make it relevant to every application.
Here is how to do it:
Start by listing your hard skills and soft skills. Include technical skills like SQL, data analytics, etc., and interpersonal skills like time management, dedication, discipline, etc.
Add a rating against each of these skills to reflect your expertise and proficiency in the same. You can use the star rating system or any other format to make it measurable and fun.
List these skills in descending order, I.e., from the highest-rated to the lowest-rated skill.
Make a separate section titled Preferred skills to list skills that match the job description. It will change with every application.
3. Scan the job description
Once you have made the master skill list, it is time to scan through the job description (JD) to understand what the recruiter wants.
This step will help you identify whether you are eligible to apply for a job, and understand the most relevant aspects that make you a good fit.
As you scan the JD, these are the things to look out for:
- Preferred academic qualifications, specializations, certifications
- Technical skills, soft skills, and related keywords
- Experience level
- Knowledge of tools and software languages
- Spoken and written language proficiency
- Job category- Full-time or part-time
If applying on Naukri.com, the JD will most likely entail all the above information. Here is a sample of what a JD on Naukri.com looks like:
Once you have scanned through it, the next step is to utilize this information to tailor your resume.
Note: To find relevant job postings, click here!
4. Compare your resume to the job description and make changes
Now that you have understood what the recruiter is looking for, utilize this information to draft a resume that will get you shortlisted.
Identify the gaps between your resume and the job description to re-compose the objective summary, work experience, and skills to make them relevant to the job role.
Let us understand these aspects in further detail
A career summary is a brief description of your professional goals and experiences. It is placed at the top of a resume and is the first thing a recruiter notices, making it one of the most crucial aspects.
Use it to highlight the relevant skills and accomplishments based on the keywords found in the JD.
Also, try including the title or company name to earn brownie points, as it shows your effort to tailor the resume. Here's an example based on the image above.
A punctual and dedicated customer support executive with 2+ years of experience in client relationship management in a B2B firm. Strong emphasis on efficiency, troubleshooting, quality control, and eye for detail. Seeking to leverage my skills to learn and grow further in an esteemed organization like VFR Corp.
Most people use chronological order to list their experiences, but the best approach while tailoring a resume is to list the most relevant gig on the top.
If you are currently working in a role where the experience is less relevant than the previous one, list the former work experience first.
It highlights the most crucial experience before everything else and attracts more eyeballs to your resume, allowing the recruiters to gauge if you will be a good fit for their organization.
Skills define your competency and are the most important aspect of a resume.
Recruiters look for individuals with the most competitive and suitable skills for their job posting, helping them shortlist from a pool of candidates.
Compare the JD and the master list to identify the common skills between the two. List them, ranging from the most relevant to the least relevant ones.
Also, use this space to include knowledge of languages and tools that are crucial to the job role.
Start from the most relevant skills, followed by the required technical knowledge like tools, languages, and soft skills.
5. Use the keywords and format as in the job description
Using the exact terminology from the job description is another way of getting your resume shortlisted.
Today, most companies rely on ATS to find the right candidate for their company. There is a high chance that keywords and phrases from the job description are the keywords fed in the ATS.
Using them shows that you fit the bill and is the easiest way to get shortlisted. It also makes your job easy as you do not have to worry about resume content.
So, make a note to use the exact terminology in your resume as in the job description.
Note: Maintain the order of skills and work experience as mentioned in the job description, and try to list the items listed in the job description in the same chronology.
We discussed the 5 crucial yet easy ways to tailor your resume to a job description.
An additional but important tip is, to be honest- Do not lie or make up skills or experiences you cannot justify on your resume. This will affect your credibility and can backfire in the long run.
If a resume has some points that do not resonate with your experience, skip them and include aspects of your personality, like eagerness to learn and looking for career growth on your resume.