Learn how simple modifications in your resume can change your prospects of being noticed by the recruiter when you send your resume for a job.
When you’re creating your resume for a job, imagine that you’re looking for a smartwatch on an online platform. Initially, a few brands will catch your attention, and you may click on the product details to see if any of the watches meet your needs. The next logical step will be to check the reviews. If you find a very useful review, your decision is almost made!
A resume is basically the same thing. If you do not display relevant or in-demand skills or job experience in it, the recruiter/HR person might miss it. It takes a seasoned recruiter only 6-7 seconds to scan through a resume. This means about 20-30 words if we consider an average person’s reading speed.
While you have a master resume which can be your main reference resume, the trick is to edit and highlight job-specific skills for the job that you are applying for. Let’s see how.
All job postings are likely to run job descriptions (JD) alongside. Most job seekers send one standard resume to all recruiters and companies, irrespective of the job description, and this could be why a lot of profiles go unnoticed.
Let’s say that you have come across two jobs which are very similar e.g. System Test Engineer and Test Analyst. Now when we read the titles, they are very similar to each other but when you read the JD, you might come across subtle differences. In this case, it's always good to find the differences and include the same in your resume. This way you beat the scanner bot or tool because the keywords which you used from the JD will come up when a recruiter scans your profile. You can apply for both jobs or apply for just one which really matches your expectations.
Tell your story through numbers
Numbers help quantify your experience. For example, let’s assume that the company is looking for “someone who can identify problems and offer solutions” and you have mentioned the keyword in your resume as “problem-solving attitude”. Now a lot of applicants would have written exactly the same thing, so how do you stand out in this scenario? The best way is to mention “Managed to identify 5 issues in the new project while testing and providing solutions for the same”. It’s always easier to tell your story and experience through numbers. You need to tailor your resume to the job description and quantify your experience.
Add a personalized cover letter
Cover letters are highly underrated in a job searching space. While a lot of people assume that a cover letter is a generic copy of the resume, it's not. Each cover letter should highlight your experience along with why you would be the right fit for the job you are applying for. This also needs to be edited for the different jobs that you apply for. It gives the hiring manager a very brief intro and insight into your personality and if you are creative enough, it might be a very useful tool to start the interview conversation.
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Altering a resume for a job will indeed take more time than just sending the master copy across to all companies but once you take the effort to tailor your resume to the job description, it will also increase your chances of landing your dream job. When your resume finally crosses the automated screening and reaches the hiring manager, they are sure to notice the critical points that you would have highlighted.
Hiring managers appreciate the additional effort. It shows your patience, commitment and eye for detail and these skills would be a plus in any team. You have not only put in the hard work to go through the job description, but you have also taken out time to look at your own skills and match it to your dream job. This is like preparing for the interview.
The thing about resumes is that while a master resume may not get you as many hits or calls as you like, a tailored resume will change that. It might seem like a lot of work but once you see the result, you will not want to go back to the old method of sending the same resume to all job postings.