Article creator image

BY Natalie Severt

6 Tips to Help You Tailor a Resume to the Job Description

woman working on resume

Photo credit: Pixabay

TAGS: Resume, Career advice, Job search

A typical recruiter will spend roughly six seconds scanning your resume to decide whether it's worth reading.

How many times have you wished you could get inside the recruiter's head and deliver just the kind of resume they're after?

You're not alone in wondering how to craft a successful job application that predicts and addresses the expectations of recruiters.

Here's some good news: if there's one thing all recruiters search for, it's relevant professional skills. Include these skills in your resume and cover letter, and you can be sure that your application matches the job posting and grabs recruiters' attention within these six critical seconds.

Knowing how to make a perfectly tailored resume  (https://uptowork.com/blog/how-to-make-a-resume), will boost your chances at landing your dream job.

Here are 6 essential tips to help you tailor your resume to the job description and make your application more effective.

1. Look for Relevant Keyword Skills

Your first step is to examine the job posting you're targeting. Highlight all required skills and experience.

You'll see that you can group all these skills into three categories:

Job-related Skills

These are skills you need to do the job. Most skills you see in the job description will fall under this category – recruiters don't like to waste their time.

Example: Developing a strong brand.

Transferable Skills

These are skills you can use in different roles and industries. Some of these skills usually make it to the job posting too.

Example: Fluent writing competency in Spanish.

Adaptive Skills

These skills help you to survive in everyday life and engage in human interactions.

Example: Responsibility

2. Put These Skills Into Action

Now that you've got all these skills highlighted, it's time to  make good use of them.

Take a second look at your job-related skills and screen yourself. If you don't have these skills, you won't be able to do this job – save yourself time and look for other opportunities instead.

If you've got these core competencies, make sure to place them in the top third of your resume, so they're instantly visible to recruiters.

Consider transferable skills as well. You don't need them to do this job, but recruiters like to see them on resumes. That's why it's smart to include these skills throughout your experience section.

What about adaptive skills? Use them as adjectives when describing yourself as a professional. “Hardworking” or “precise” are good examples that make you even more attractive in the eyes of recruiters.

3. Add Key Details and Numbers

Equipped with the most valuable skills, you need to ensure that they instantly grab the attention of recruiters.

This is where numbers and details come in.

Don't be afraid to brag and get specific about your skills. Show recruiters how you used them in your past jobs to highlight your professional achievements and demonstrate that you're the right match.

Instead of going for the generic “Customer Service,” provide more details, for instance:

“Increased satisfaction by 15% through efficient customer service.” It sounds way better, don't you agree?

Thanks to these details, recruiters will be able to imagine you achieving similar results in the position for which they're recruiting.

4. Write a Killer Summary

Nothing grabs recruiters' attention like a short, snappy introduction that emphasizes your skills set and career progress.

It works like a sales pitch that you can use when someone asks you to tell them more about yourself.

Your resume summary is where you can make the most out of your keywords skills and develop a resume that is perfectly tailored to the job offer.

If you're transitioning from one career track into another, you can still use these keywords when writing a resume objective.

5. Craft a Memorable Cover Letter

Follow your tailored resume with an optimized cover letter.

Recruiters will scan it with essential keyword skills in mind. When discussing your experience and expertise, stick to the same keywords you defined for your resume.

Expand upon points you kept brief in your resume and optimize your cover letter with consistent keyword usage. Show how your skills and competencies will help employers solve specific problems. That's how you gain an advantage over other candidates.

6. Check Whether You Did a Good Job

To find out whether you tailored your resume to the job description,  just drop it into a cloud generator. You'll see keywords and phrases that are most prominent in your resume.

If these aren't related to the skill-related keywords you listed at the beginning, have a second look at your resume and rewrite some of the sections to include relevant keywords throughout the document.

Key takeaway

Tailoring your resume to match the job posting is a recipe for successThis is how you can show recruiters that you care about the offer and know how to present yourself as a great fit for the job.

If you take your time tailoring your resume to job postings that interest you, you'll be rewarded with more invitations to job interviews than you’d expect.

Start your keyword hunt now and craft a resume that lands you a dream job. Here's an infographic that shows you how to put these tips into action:

How to match your resume to a job descriptionHow to match your resume to a job description


Natalie is a writer at Uptowork - Your Resume Builder. She writes about how to create successful resumes so that you can land your dream job. When she isn't writing, she eats tacos and reads complicated novels.

Fairygodboss

Fairygodboss is committed to improving the workplace and lives of women. 
Join us by reviewing your employer!

 

Related Community Discussions

  • I am trying to change career paths. I was laid off in Nov. 2016. I spoke with a master resume writer yesterday who recommended an entirely new resume, LinkedIn overhaul, valuation letter and summary/biography all for close to $3000. I also received a call for an interview for a part-time job, $10/hour, no benefits. Needless to say I burst into tears by the end of the day.

    I had high hope when I obtained my law degree (especially after working full-time & attending night classes). I've tried contacting the law school and my undergrad career centers but have received only nominal assistance. They both wished me luck, gave me login's to their job portals and had nothing more to suggest.

    Someone mentioned networking & I agree that is an option but here in Michigan is comes with a fee to attend events, seminars or join associations. I understand we are all trying to make money but I graduated from law school during the recession and have 6 figures in student loans. I also am running out of unemployment.

    The master resume writer explained only 15% of people get hired from online applications. Is that true? If so then why are we even bothering with an online system at all? She suggested I find the hiring manager & connect with that person. The hiring manager is sometimes 2 people deep in the company so how do I find the person who told HR that they need a person for X job?

    I've reached out to people on LinkedIn and have not gotten much response or advice. Are there any mentors or HR people that can suggest anything that is free? My mom thinks I should go back to school but with a BA and JD that I am still paying for adding to the debt with no promises that another degree will land me a job doesn't seem wise.

    I am frustrated, disheartened and angry that the process of finding a job has become so convoluted but understand why it has. I've read so many articles on LinkedIn that they conflict with one another...you need a cover letter, no you need a pain letter, don't bother you don't need these because HR won't read it. Your resume needs skills, don't list your skills, list dates, don't list dates, take off references. Which article do I believe? Adding insult to injury the unemployment agency here requires your resume to be uploaded to the talent network. Do you know what companies contacted me expressing interest in my skill-set? Tru-Green lawn care as a fertilizer sprayer and a local manufacture as a line-worker. Is that all I am capable of and are they even reading my resume?

    If there is anyone out there who can help please respond and as 1 talk-show host says everyday at the end of her show remember to "be king to one another".

  • My friend just told me (she was trying to be nice) that I'm limiting my career potential because I don't wear makeup to work. Do you think she's right? Do I need to wear makeup to be "professional?"

  • Does anyone here work for Earnst & Young? I see their communications department is hiring for multiple roles I think I'm qualified for. I'd like to learn more "inside scoop" from a current or former employee. Also looking to learn more about how this department is structured so I can figure out which of the positions I should apply for. Don't want to apply for all of them and have it look as if I'm spamming them with my resume.

  • Any advice for someone searching for work during their first trimester of pregnancy? I currently work with a temp agency for income and am applying for my next role. From what I've read on the boards, it seems that most women are firmly established at their companies but I was forced to look for a new role outside of my former company due to a health condition. They were unwilling to move me to a different role within the company. Any suggestions on how to navigate the next 4-6 months before giving birth?

  • The previous post is a hard act to follow, but here goes: Within a week or two, I will be laid off from the ad agency where I work. Unfortunately, this is a hazard of working at an agency. If the agency loses a major client (or, as in our case, two), staff are let go. For me, this is deja vu; at my last job, also at an agency, we lost a major client and 11 staffers were laid off (including me).

    The advertising industry skews quite young. I laugh when I see a job posting for a "senior" copywriter requiring only three years of experience (I have more than 20).

    While I am seeking a permanent, full-time position either remotely or in the Greater Philadelphia/South Jersey region, I am considering going freelance. I have had a freelance business on the side for decades, but never made the leap.

    So, if anyone has advice on making a living as a freelancer, let me know. Or, if you have any ideas on how to "spin" my experience in a positive way, please share. (And if you want to send a job offer my way, that's OK, too!)

Find Out

What are women saying about your company?

Click Here

Share This

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Share with Friends
  • Share Anonymously

6 Tips to Help You Tailor a Resume to the Job Description

6 Tips to Help You Tailor a Resume to the Job Description

A typical recruiter will spend roughly six seconds scanning your resume to decide whether it's worth reading. How many times have you wished you could get...

A typical recruiter will spend roughly six seconds scanning your resume to decide whether it's worth reading.

How many times have you wished you could get inside the recruiter's head and deliver just the kind of resume they're after?

You're not alone in wondering how to craft a successful job application that predicts and addresses the expectations of recruiters.

Here's some good news: if there's one thing all recruiters search for, it's relevant professional skills. Include these skills in your resume and cover letter, and you can be sure that your application matches the job posting and grabs recruiters' attention within these six critical seconds.

Knowing how to make a perfectly tailored resume  (https://uptowork.com/blog/how-to-make-a-resume), will boost your chances at landing your dream job.

Here are 6 essential tips to help you tailor your resume to the job description and make your application more effective.

1. Look for Relevant Keyword Skills

Your first step is to examine the job posting you're targeting. Highlight all required skills and experience.

You'll see that you can group all these skills into three categories:

Job-related Skills

These are skills you need to do the job. Most skills you see in the job description will fall under this category – recruiters don't like to waste their time.

Example: Developing a strong brand.

Transferable Skills

These are skills you can use in different roles and industries. Some of these skills usually make it to the job posting too.

Example: Fluent writing competency in Spanish.

Adaptive Skills

These skills help you to survive in everyday life and engage in human interactions.

Example: Responsibility

2. Put These Skills Into Action

Now that you've got all these skills highlighted, it's time to  make good use of them.

Take a second look at your job-related skills and screen yourself. If you don't have these skills, you won't be able to do this job – save yourself time and look for other opportunities instead.

If you've got these core competencies, make sure to place them in the top third of your resume, so they're instantly visible to recruiters.

Consider transferable skills as well. You don't need them to do this job, but recruiters like to see them on resumes. That's why it's smart to include these skills throughout your experience section.

What about adaptive skills? Use them as adjectives when describing yourself as a professional. “Hardworking” or “precise” are good examples that make you even more attractive in the eyes of recruiters.

3. Add Key Details and Numbers

Equipped with the most valuable skills, you need to ensure that they instantly grab the attention of recruiters.

This is where numbers and details come in.

Don't be afraid to brag and get specific about your skills. Show recruiters how you used them in your past jobs to highlight your professional achievements and demonstrate that you're the right match.

Instead of going for the generic “Customer Service,” provide more details, for instance:

“Increased satisfaction by 15% through efficient customer service.” It sounds way better, don't you agree?

Thanks to these details, recruiters will be able to imagine you achieving similar results in the position for which they're recruiting.

4. Write a Killer Summary

Nothing grabs recruiters' attention like a short, snappy introduction that emphasizes your skills set and career progress.

It works like a sales pitch that you can use when someone asks you to tell them more about yourself.

Your resume summary is where you can make the most out of your keywords skills and develop a resume that is perfectly tailored to the job offer.

If you're transitioning from one career track into another, you can still use these keywords when writing a resume objective.

5. Craft a Memorable Cover Letter

Follow your tailored resume with an optimized cover letter.

Recruiters will scan it with essential keyword skills in mind. When discussing your experience and expertise, stick to the same keywords you defined for your resume.

Expand upon points you kept brief in your resume and optimize your cover letter with consistent keyword usage. Show how your skills and competencies will help employers solve specific problems. That's how you gain an advantage over other candidates.

6. Check Whether You Did a Good Job

To find out whether you tailored your resume to the job description,  just drop it into a cloud generator. You'll see keywords and phrases that are most prominent in your resume.

If these aren't related to the skill-related keywords you listed at the beginning, have a second look at your resume and rewrite some of the sections to include relevant keywords throughout the document.

Key takeaway

Tailoring your resume to match the job posting is a recipe for successThis is how you can show recruiters that you care about the offer and know how to present yourself as a great fit for the job.

If you take your time tailoring your resume to job postings that interest you, you'll be rewarded with more invitations to job interviews than you’d expect.

Start your keyword hunt now and craft a resume that lands you a dream job. Here's an infographic that shows you how to put these tips into action:

How to match your resume to a job descriptionHow to match your resume to a job description


Natalie is a writer at Uptowork - Your Resume Builder. She writes about how to create successful resumes so that you can land your dream job. When she isn't writing, she eats tacos and reads complicated novels.

Fairygodboss

Fairygodboss is committed to improving the workplace and lives of women. 
Join us by reviewing your employer!

 

thumbnail 1 summary