Click on this link to download the PDF “Make Your Résumé An Interview Magnet – How To Customize Your Résumé”

Why you need to customize your résumé

One of the top reasons why you aren’t getting a good response to your résumé when applying to jobs online and/or sending your résumé directly to an actual human is likely because you have not customized it for the position.

Sending the same résumé to different job opportunities even if they are similar job functions in the same industry reduces your chances of landing interviews.

The reason for this is that the computer applicant tracking software systems (ATS) is scoring and ranking your résumé according to how closely it matches the key information in the job posting.

So, the more your qualifications and experience match the job posting, the more likely you are going to generate interest and a potential interview.

Alternatively, the less your résumé is a match, the less likely you will have success.

Now, there are literally hundreds of different types of ATS systems out there. Some look primarily for keywords matches while others are way more sophisticated and look for key phrases, context, and even understand synonyms.

Using the job posting to your advantage

The best way to increase the interview-generating power of your résumé is to ensure that it matches the job posting in question. Remember, you shouldn’t send the same document to different jobs.

In effect, the job posting is your best friend. Some of them actually have a lot of value to offer, so give them the time and attention that they deserve.

Now I say “some” because not every job posting is created equally. Some are well-written and offer a great deal of information as well as insight about the company culture and what they are looking for in a successful candidate.

Other job postings are extremely vague and generic, offering little to no useful information. These won’t help you, so if this is the case, I urge you to find other ways of researching the company and the position to find out what they might be looking for.

Let’s assume that the job posting has adequate information.

Click on this link to download the PDF “Make Your Résumé An Interview Magnet – How To Customize Your Résumé”

Top 2 tactics to use the job posting to target your résumé

Step #1 – Review the job posting

I know this seems really obvious, but I know for a fact that many people don’t read the entire job description and should.

While it might seem trivial, you MUST read the entire job posting from beginning to end and pay attention to what they are saying. There might be an underlying subtext or “clues” as to what the employer is really looking for.

The employer also might also add a “trick” to see if you’ve actually read the entire description.

For instance, they might ask a specific question they want you to answer in the cover letter or they specify something they want you to send them, like a cover letter or it might be something else.

In any event, read it thoroughly.


Step #2 – Find the matches

After you’ve reviewed the entire job posting, you then start from the top and work your way down and highlight all of those things that match your work experience, your hard/soft skills, your education, your special talents, and other credentials.

It’s important to note that you aren’t just focusing on the “job requirements” and “education” sections.  This is why it’s important to read the entire job posting.

You are going to identify and address the position’s accountabilities, duties, and responsibilities that directly match you skills and experience and where you have transferable skills and experience.

Wherever you can find a match, highlight it in green or find some system that works for you. Anything that isn’t a match or is a very weak one, you can just strike it out.

What you are left with are highlighted keywords and phrases that you will then make sure you have addressed in your résumé.

The keywords will be hard and soft skills, education, and other things that the employer is looking for. For instance, the keywords might be “Strategic Business Development”, “Financial Analysis”, “Customer Service”, “Collaborative Leadership” and things like that.

Make sure you have included all of the important keywords in the appropriate sections of your résumé, especially the experience section.

Key phrases are just that – phrases or even a sentence or two that elaborate on the position’s duties and responsibilities. Or it might describe what the employer is looking for in a candidate.

In any event, you need to give it your best judgment as to what is important and ensure that you’ve addressed these phrases in your résumé.

And no, you don’t cut and paste the phrases and stick them in your résumé verbatim.  You should include them but modify them a little, so it doesn’t look like you’re plagiarizing.

The reason you want the important keywords and key phrases in your résumé is because that’s what the ATS and human reader are looking for.

The ATS will give you a better scoring and ranking because when you have included this information.

The human reader will pay more attention to your résumé  because they immediately see that what you have included is a direct match to the job description.

This is like creating marketing copy in a website – the rule of thumb is to use the exact language of the target audience so that it resonates with them and they think “Wow! That’s what I’m looking for!”.

If you fail to make that connection, especially with the human reader, you run the risk of reducing your job search success.

Click on this link to download the PDF “Make Your Résumé An Interview Magnet – How To Customize Your Résumé”


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Hi!  I’m Diana.

I leverage over 10 years recruitment and sales/marketing experience to create attention-grabbing résumés, cover letters, and Linkedin profiles that help job seekers stand out, get noticed, and get hired. You can learn more about my story here and about how I can help you here.

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