You’ve heard the advice: customize your resume for the job you are applying for.

Before you start making excuses, let’s take a look at the reasons WHY you want to customize.

Your resume is run through a bot

Some companies use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) that compares your resume to the job description.  This software looks at similar keyword. If your resume doesn’t match the job post with enough keywords, it ends up in the trash.  All before a set of human eyes even has a chance to see it!

How to get past the ATS

In your resume, make sure you use plenty of the exact same keywords as the job description.  The software program can’t read between the lines, so make it as obvious as possible.

Hiring Managers Don’t Do Your Job

Your resume will likely also get screened by an HR manager who doesn’t know your job like you do.  They are also looking at keywords in your resume. Don’t use jargon, such as acronyms or proper nouns, unless they are in the job description.

Likewise, HR managers don’t have time to read three pages of job history. Avoid adding a lot of other job responsibilities that are not part of the job you are applying for. Too much information makes the keywords hard to find.

How to get past HR

Use the same keywords as the job description.  Also, keep it short, simple, and to the point so they can get to the content faster.  

It Shows You Read the Posting

When your resume lines up with the job posting, it shows you know what they are looking for.  Think of a job posting like a sales advertisement.  

A company has posted a flyer that reads “I need a 12 foot long red canoe”.  When people submit their resume, they are answering the ad with the type of canoe they have for sale.  

Most people will submit this:

“I have a 10 foot long canoe that is blue, has flames painted on the side, and comes with my cousin George to help you carry it”.  

The canoe part is okay, though not a perfect match. The cousin is unnecessary.

Some people will answer the ad with this:

“I have a green Jeep”.  

These people won’t get past the ATS.  

By staying targeted and focusing on keywords, your resume will read “I have a 12 foot long red canoe”.  And that, is how you will get an interview.

Want a little more help getting to the interview part?  Use a Master Resume Template to make customizing your resumes super easy!

Master Resume

Start with a master resume to make your job search as easy as copy+paste!

Photo Credit: Glenn Carstens-Peters from Unsplash.

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Posted by Amanda Parsons

Amanda has always had an appreciation for writing instructions that are easy to follow. When not curled up with her laptop trying to figure out why Word on the Mac is so weird, she can be found kayaking in the Pacific Northwest.

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