Showing how you meet the requirements of a job is the most important thing your resume does for you. Recruiters want to know how you will use your skills, abilities and experience to excel. Have a basic resume that you tailor to the job listing. Read our article for advice on how to tailor your resume to any job posting.
Take note of the job skills and qualifications list required for the position
Almost every job listing has a section at the very end which describes the skills and qualifications required for the job. This is where the company tells you exactly what they’re looking for in a candidate.
Match your skills and qualifications to the job description
Review the skills section to determine if they’re hard or soft. Listing your hard skills in a dedicated section on your resume is helpful. Add only the relevant skills they’ve mentioned. For example, you may be great at installing software upgrades and troubleshooting issues but if you’re applying for a job in sales, this may not be handy.
When it comes to soft skills, it’s easier to weave them into your resume by showing rather than telling. Remember to think outside of the context of work – your skills are used in all aspects of your life. For example, you may not have negotiated a contract before but you have negotiated prices at a store.
When it comes to qualifications, you should list these in a separate section. If the qualifications are pertinent to the job, add them to the first page of your resume. If you’re presently studying or have just completed a certification, you can highlight it by adding it to the first line of your resume.
Add keywords from the job description to your cv
Keywords are either one word or a phrase which describes an ability, skill or experience relevant to the job. Companies use applicant tracking systems (ATS) which scan all resumes to find these keywords and determine if you match the role – and if a human recruiter should look at your resume.
Because of this, it is very important to review the job listing, highlight the keywords and add these to your resume.
Make sure your job title is clear on your resume
Add a section at the top of your resume for your title. This doesn’t have to be your current job title but something that reflects the job posting. This is helpful when changing fields or looking to secure a higher-ranking job.
List any relevant experience, education and training
Add a section for each of these but remember to only include relevant information.
Don’t go further back than 15 years, focus on more recent experience and your achievements in those roles. If the titles of your jobs previous to 15 years ago are relevant, you can add a section titled “Additional Experience” and list only the title, company and location.
Regarding education and training, you may have done several courses throughout your career. Review them to determine which would be beneficial to someone in the role and remove the rest. While they are valuable, they will take up space you could be using to promote yourself.
Use an easy to read CV format and proofread before sending it
- Don’t use graphics. ATS doesn’t recognise graphics which can make it difficult to get your CV in the hands of a recruiter.
- Use a consistent, simple font such as Arial, Times New Roman or Calibri.
- Make sure your CV flows from left to right instead of having columns or several tables.
- Ensure there aren’t any grammatical errors in your CV, proofread it or ask someone else to have a look before you send it out.
Attach a cover letter that’s tailored to the job posting
Using the same formula above, write a cover letter which reflects the job posting. Use keywords and describe how you can leverage your knowledge to deliver on their goals.
Carefully review each job posting you’re applying to and make sure you answer what they’re looking for. Using the tips above will help you pass ATS and get noticed. You can also read our article on advice for writing well-written resume objectives.