Tailoring your CV/resume for each job you are applying for might sound like a time consuming task, but it can significantly increase your chances of securing an interview.
For many of my jobs, only about 10% of resumes seem relevant – many job seekers seem to think that the more jobs they apply for (even if they are not qualified), the higher their chances of getting an interview. However, it is a strategy that will get you nowhere fast.
Here are some tips to help you get more job interviews – even in a competitive job market.
Make sure you understand the requirements
If you’re looking at lots of job descriptions on a daily basis, it is easy assume that the positions you’re applying to are similar enough that you can just send off your resume without really looking into what that particular job entails.
However, this is a major mistake. What one company defines as e.g. “Account Manager” or “Marketing Manager’ may have a completely different set of responsibilities in various companies.
Make sure you only apply if you fulfil most of the requirements of the role. On a daily basis I get unsuitable CVs from candidates who have no online experience, even if e-commerce experience is listed as one of the top requirements on the job description. When I look for e.g. Nordic speaker, most of the candidates who apply don’t speak any languages apart from English… you get my point.
Ensure your application is keywords-optimized
A lot of companies use ATS (applicant tracking systems) which mine data from your resume by looking for relevant keywords or phrases. You will have to make small modifications to your CV to ensure the applicant tracking system identifies your resume for further inspection.
Make sure you highlight all of your relevant skills and experience. Your resume must contain keywords that correspond with the description in the job posting, especially if it is industry jargon. Examples of keywords might include specific computer programs or words like ‘e-commerce’ or ‘marketing communications’.
Tailor your summary/skills section to match the job description
Summary of qualifications or skills should be different for each job you apply for. Make sure you draw the recruiter’s attention to the relevant skills/experience you have by creating a strong Skills section on top of your CV/resume.
If you are applying for a technical role, your technical skills (software, databases, programming languages etc.) should appear in this section of your resume.
Mention recent and relevant achievements
Many CVs I see in my recruitment job are very ‘duty-oriented’ – there are no accomplishments listed and even if they are – they are not specific and measurable.
If you want to get noticed, you must list some accomplishments that demonstrate the value you bring to an organization and what problems you solve for your employer.
If you’ve hit quota for a certain number of months, streamlined a procedure or have done something that’s saved your company time/money or both – state that.
You only have a few minutes to impress an employer, so make sure you do it.
If you want to show prospective employers that you have the skills and experience they are seeking, make sure you ALWAYS make small tweaks to your CV before applying. This will significantly increase your chances of more job interviews and hopefully, more job offers.
If you’re currently looking for a job, you can view numerous job vacancies at Trud.co.uk
And if you would like me to help you with your job search strategy, optimizing your resume/CV and LinkedIn profile and mastering your interview technique, check out my Half-Day Intensive programme.
- You want immediate clarity on what unique value you’re bringing to an organization and how to make yourself stand out among other candidates
- You want to be able to confidently articulate what problems you solve for your employer
- You are looking for support in creating or optimizing your LinkedIn profile so that headhunters find you easily
- You want to have a great resume that gets you interviews and makes you stand out for skills, talents and knowledge.
- You want an immediate increase in your confidence and want a sound career plan for the year ahead
Margaret Buj is an Interview and Career Acceleration Coach who specializes in helping professionals get hired, promoted and paid more.
She has extensive experience of interviewing professionals at all levels across a number of industries and has recruited for global corporations in the technology and e-commerce space across EMEA and the US.
Get her brand new FREE video training series which will show you how to access more job opportunities and how to get more interviews in a competitive job market.