I sat down in front of my computer, full of enthusiasm to apply for my dream job. After changing my resume for the 100th time, I realized I’ve been sitting there for 5 hours without standing up. But hey, this time it will surely happen! I’m so close to getting that dream job. I upload my application and go to bed feeling satisfied with my hard work. Three weeks later, I still haven’t heard from them. But why? I am qualified and hard-working enough!
If you’ve ever been in such а situation, you’re not alone. There are many candidates just like you, struggling to come to grip with writing a stellar resume. One of the main mistakes they make is overlooking the importance of a job-specific resume.
What does a job-specific resume mean?
Let’s begin with addressing the meaning of a job-specific resume. Imagine you’re going to your doctor because you don’t feel well. They ask you what exactly the problem is. But you say that you generally don’t feel good. Do you think that they will know right away how to help you? Barely. You need you to be more specific. It’s the same with resumes. If you can’t explain why you are the right one for the job, the employer will not be able to help you.
The next time you’re applying for a job, here are 4 ways that will help you make your resume job-specific.
1. Find a company you’re excited about
When I was applying for my current position at Enhancv, it was the first time I did a deeper research about the company. I checked their about page, the resume builder, their blog. And in order to understand them even better, I created my resume on the platform, too. I instantly thought - ‘’I’d love to work for them!’’. This excitement made the application process somewhat easier.
Before you create your next job-specific resume, you should do the same. The very first step of successful job hunting is finding the company you like. This will make the application process much more enjoyable, stress-free and efficient. You’ll automatically put more effort into it. If they have a product you can try out, do it. It will give you a better idea of what they do. Also, the employer will be able to see your enthusiasm, because you’ll use the right words to attract their attention. But more about that in my next point.
2. Mirror them
How on earth can you do that, you ask? My answer is - thank the universe for technology! Nowadays, most companies have a blog, an about page describing each employee and an active account on each social media channel. That is your way of finding out what tone of voice they use. Are they a friendly company, or a more corporate one? To find out their responsiveness, try to Tweet to them or send them a Facebook message. How do they reply? Do they use emoticons or even Gifs? Also, check out their about page and take the time to read about each of the employees. What do they like? Do you have similar hobbies or fields of expertise?
All this will help you pinpoint certain words and phrases they use. Try to incorporate them into your resume. Also, you’d be able to find out whether they’d appreciate a more visually compelling resume or a black and white one. In your Passions section, mention the ones you have in common with the rest of the employees. All this will help you catch their attention instantly. Hiring managers spend only 7 seconds on each resume, after all.
3. Use keywords they used in the job spec
Employers spend hours on crafting a perfect job description. Bigger companies that receive thousands of resumes every day use an ATS. A software that helps to narrow down a big number of applicants based on the keywords they used on their resume. And ATS kills 75 percent of candidates' chances of landing an interview. This system is supposed to make the job of hiring managers easier. But the problem is that it has a lot of flaws. If your resume isn’t formatted in the right way and doesn't contain the right keywords and phrases, the ATS will misread it. It will throw your resume into the ‘’declined’’ folder even though you’re very qualified for the job you’re applying for.
The good news is that at Enhancv we make sure our format is readable by any ATS. But you need to do is a bit of research first. Read the job description carefully and write down the main keywords. What are the job title, responsibilities, and duties and the location? Then check your resume. Do you meet those requirements? Is it possible to stick those keywords within your experience sections? Make sure you don’t overdo it, though. That will seem stinky to the ATS and your resume might end up in the bad folder.
4. Pinpoint your skills and achievements
Your resume went through the ATS system, well done! But what now? After the hiring manager receives your resume, you need to make sure you stand out. Recently, we’ve done an interview with a recruitment expert. We asked what do hiring managers and recruiters want to see on a resume.
The answer was simple. You need to state what skills you have, both soft skills and technical skills. Mention your top strengths, too. Match them with the ones mentioned in the job spec to ensure the hiring manager can spot them right away. Remember that they want to see results from your work and situations in which you used your top strengths. When it comes to your tech skills, be specific. For example, if you mention your skills include Google Analytics and in your head, that means AdWords too, you should mention both.
It’s your turn now!
If you decide to craft your next resume on the Enhancv builder, half of your job is done. The format of your resume will be ATS optimized, but it’s up to you to make the content of your resume job-specific.
Good luck with your job hunting!