Most people believe they only need one resume that they can use for every job they apply for, but this is not the case. Your resume should be modified to suit the job you are applying for and should be accompanied by a targeted cover letter.
Here are three essential elements needed to optimising your resume’s success:
1. Use relevant language
It is important to ensure your resume contains the same language used in the job advertisement. Typically human resources staff are the first people to review your resume, and whilst they are HR professionals, they may not be as knowledgeable about your profession and its relevance to the business. In the first instance HR staff may compare the content of your resume with the language used in the job ad. You cannot rely on the fact that the first person to read your resume will have the technical expertise to understand your experience, so ensure you adapt your resume to include the keywords used in the job ad.
2. Using keywords
For a job seeker who is looking at several different industries, matching keywords can be very time consuming. For example, an experienced Business Development Manager may be looking for a sales role across a variety of industries and would have to be mindful of industry jargon and acronyms which often cross over different industries and can mean different things. Adapt your application to include the specific keywords used in the job ad.
3. Putting the most important details first
Another way to optimise your resume for a specific job it so ensure that the order in which the various sections of your resume appear are in an order similar the items or criteria listed in the job ad. For example, if the first thing asked for in the job advertisement is “CPA qualified Accountant with minimum 5 years’ experience”, then you should ensure your academic qualifications are mentioned towards the start of your resume. Also, you could introduce yourself in an opening statement such as “CPA Qualified Accountant with 8 years’ experience within…..”
As you start, or continue your job search process, keep a standard resume on hand containing keywords and relevant language aligned to each industry you are looking at applying with. Employers will appreciate it!
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