Despite all the advances in technology, candidates continue to complain that it seems impossible to get their resume past the “black hole” and into a recruiter’s hands.
And yet when I see the resume sent, and compare it to the job description provided by the employer for that position, it is clear why the resume never got even a few seconds of the recruiter’s attention. There simply isn’t enough work being done by the job seeker to match the two documents; a recruiter sometimes can’t even tell that the applicant understands the role.
With every application, it is up to you to ensure your resume meets the standards of that person reading the resume.
Many see this is as a daunting task. Many find it very difficult to do because they have no idea who might be reviewing the resume or what they truly want. Let me share a secret:
If you read the job description, you will know exactly what that person is looking for. Here are some specific areas to focus on as you prepare a version of your resume for each employer based on the job description:
1. Pay Attention to the Job Title
It is very important to ensure your resume clearly states, word for word, the title contained in the job description. If your past experience doesn’t include that specific title, include it in your summary of qualifications or up in the header of your resume. Without that title on your resume… the black hole is where the resume will end up.
2. Recognize Company Culture
Just about any decently written job description will give you an idea of the company culture. And whenever possible, your resume should be written in this same tone/voice. Pick out keywords from the job description (and the company’s online career pages). Apply these keywords directly to your resume in your summary of skills and past experience sections.
3. Meet The Minimum Requirement
Never assume the person reading your resume will know you have a certain qualification “just by reading” the resume. Most of the time, the recruiter will spend less than 15 seconds reading your resume, and disqualify you if he/she doesn’t see you have 5 years of experience as required, for example. Again, your summary of skills is a great place to deliberately show you meet or exceed the minimums.
4. List Preferred Qualifications!
Remember, there are hundreds of applicants. So what is going to make you different from the others? In many cases, clearly stating that you have the “preferred” qualifications will do just that, and move your resume to the top of the pile. Look for words in the job description like “must have” and “strongly preferred.” Then,throughout your resume, make it clear that you have mastered those skills, and are more than worth the interview!
You could easily be the most qualified candidate. You just might be the perfect applicant. But if your resume doesn’t incorporate these four tips, it may not matter… you must make it simple for the recruiter to recognize your skill sets!
Before submitting, thoroughly analyze the job description. Then ask yourself: how can I, inside my resume, demonstrate I am the right person for this job?
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at BullsEye Recruiting!