If you want to get hired in a competitive job market, submitting the same resume randomly to multiple job openings is usually a bad idea. A resume is your very first impression — and that impression alone can make or break your progress. Consequently, it is important to learn the art of resume writing.

To stand out from the crowd, you need to revise your resume to personalize it as per the JD. The job description (JD) listed on the career or company website is your guide to modify your CV. It lays out the essential responsibilities, activities, qualifications, and skills the hiring manager values most.

In order to customize your CV as per the JD, you will first need to decode the JD. Here are some tips to do the same:

  1. Verbs like, coordinating, scheduling, organizing, analyzing, presenting, writing, editing, and proofreading, usually give idea of the work responsibility. Clues about areas of expertise can be found in the nouns: consumer needs, competitive markets, insights, and newsletter. Focus more on core responsibilities of the role and less on the desired behavioral traits like creativity, teamwork, and attention to detail.
  2. The desired skills are listed on JDs in sequential order or prioritize them with labels like “required,” “desired,” and “preferred.” Use these clues to decide which skills to highlight on your resume. Phrases like “required” and “must-have” are typically non-negotiable, whereas labels like “desired” and “preferred” are less important to the company. Take help of these verbs and nouns listed in the job description to showcase how your past work matches the expectations and skills listed in the JD.
  3. Make sure that your resume matches the qualification requirements mentioned in the JD or comes close to them.
  4. Use ‘professional summary’ at the top of the resume to match your experience with the requirements for job you want. Match it to the tasks mentioned in the JD.
  5. Customize bullets below the job titles to add details and metrics to suite the JD. You don’t need to include every job you’ve ever had, but you do need to highlight experiences that match best with the JD.
  6. Don’t stick a “Skills” section at the bottom of your resume and fill it with random keywords listed in the JD.
  7. Don’t over rely on AI Tools and ensure your prompts include specific elements from the JD, or ask the AI tool to analyze the JD as part of the prompt.

With high volume of applications, a resume highlighting your strengths but largely ignoring the job requirements could be missed. Ensure that you use these tips for helping your resume sand-out in the crowd.

This article has been referenced for HBR. To read the complete article click here

About High Potential Career Planning:

An initiative of ACH, High Potential Career Planning (HPCP) is established with a mission to mentor professionals in their search for a career development and growth. We provide personalized mentorship programs, which can help individuals have a fulfilling career.

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