How Job Descriptions Can Help You Revamp your Resume

— May 11, 2017

All that time you spend scrolling through job openings to find the perfect fit can actually help you as you’re polishing up your resume and getting ready to apply. For one, it exposes you to the wide variety of meanings a job title can hold. One company’s definition of an account manager or customer relations specialist may not be the same as another’s. Keep a running list of job titles with different companies that fit your skill set and interests. As you’re looking for jobs, this will broaden your search and help get more hits.

As far as your resume is concerned, you’ll be able to tweak your marketing message to align with the role at a particular company. Use the same terminology at the top of your resume that the company does. Your current title may not be exactly the same, but that’s okay – you’ll be able to show how it aligns in the content.

Compile keywords from job descriptions. What are the most common phrases and terms that employers use over and over? These are areas you want to ensure your resume hits upon. Incorporate this same terminology not only in your summary and core competencies, but also within your experience. ATS scan for keywords, but not just on their own – also within the context of sentences. Your core competencies section calls them out, but your job experience elaborates on these skills.

Pay attention to skills and areas where you may be lacking. Do a lot of job descriptions ask for specific software proficiency or skills that you’re missing? Time to consider professional development or taking on different projects at work to build your skills and gain relevant experience. Or, do you have this knowledge but hadn’t thought to include it? Time to make some changes and add a bullet point or keywords that demonstrate you have the desired abilities.

Get a feel for company culture and what organizations value. Are the companies you’re targeting focused on eco-friendly practices or high levels of customer engagement? Make sure these values are evident on your resume and show how you can contribute.

Gauge experience and how you fit in. If you always seem to be falling short on required years of experience, it may be time to adjust your job search and choose something more relevant until you have additional experience under your belt or can work your way up in an organization. Or, you may way to emphasize how your experience puts you at this level even though you don’t have the desired number of years yet. This can be especially true if you’re in a smaller organization where you wear many hats or have taken on strong leadership responsibilities.

Reading a variety of job descriptions can help you to better tailor your resume to the type of position you desire, and also open your eyes to the opportunities that are available. Use this to your advantage whether you’re looking to advance in your career or transition into another line of work.

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Author: Amanda Clark

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