During the job quest, the most common mistake job seekers make is sending the same resume to more than dozen different jobs.
We all have done it.
Sometimes job-seekers think that this approach can even improve our chances of getting the job, since we send the same resume automatically and, by doing so, we apply to more job vacancies. But it's a trap.
When you send a resume or a cover letter without addressing the company or without referring to a specific role, it's obvious that you haven't taken your time to adjust them. From recruiter’s perspective, it's immediately a red flag signaling that an unmotivated candidate wants to come on board - definitely not the impression you want to make.
So how can you efficiently tailor your resume to the job without re-writing it from the scratch?
1. START FROM THE JOB DESCRIPTION
Understanding the job description is a foundation of a relevant, tailor-made resume.
Therefore, start from reading the job description.
Read the job description ten times if necessary and read it carefully to make sure you fully understand the key responsibilities and requirements.
Of course, it may be hard to understand their expectations, because job descriptions are usually too vague/fluffy/ complicated/____________ (insert your description here).
Bear in mind that job descriptions are in most cases made by Human Resources - not the hiring manager or anyone from the business area himself.
For example, if you go through 10 job vacancies published by one company, you’ll notice that they all are pretty much the same. Human Resources have their job ad template and they just need to amend requirements according to information they get from the hiring manager.
This information will mostly be related to desirable previous experience and knowledge (e.g. educational background, years of experience, relevant responsibilities, certificates, and skills).
Therefore, it’s important to read between the lines. To do so, you should focus mostly on the person specification section as well as the first two or three responsibilities in the job description. From the hiring manager’s perspective - they are the most relevant ones.
A helpful trick no. 1:
Focus on person specification and first two or three responsibilities written down in the job description. They are the most relevant for the role.
Through this process, you will not only learn more about the company and the role itself, but you might also notice information you’ve missed while reading the job description for the first time.
Some information might be a bit hidden or we simply don’t pay attention to them, especially when we are driven to find a job and we desperately want to like any job we find online.
In other words, when we read the job description wanting to be the right one for us, we are biased.
We tend to look for things that match rather than understanding company’s expectations objectively.
A subjective lens may lead us to applying for too many roles we don’t actually match to and consequently, getting no response or rejections that might discourage us on our job-seeking path.
To prevent this outcome, double-check the requirements to be sure you fit at least to 70% of them. And don’t waste your time on jobs you don’t actually see yourself in.
Focus on making high-quality applications for jobs you really want – those you qualify for and you would enjoy doing in a company you genuinely like.
This approach will definitely decrease the number of jobs you’ll apply for, but at the same time, it will increase the quality of your applications and - consequently - increase the response rate you’ll get from the recruiters.
Now when you are sure you want to apply for the role, open your resume and let’s start tweaking it.
2. MAKE A KEYWORD-FRIENDLY RESUME
Have you already heard of ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems)?
ATS is software that searches for specific skills and keywords in resumes, ranks them and picks out the best candidates. They are also known as screening software or resume bots.
You are probably thinking: "What? Resume robots?! Like the job quest wasn’t already hard enough." But keep reading. We can help with that.