How to Match Your Resume to a Specific Job Description

Resume Help

You’re about to discover everything you need to know about tailoring your resume to the job you’re looking for. But first, consider this tough question:

What qualities does a hiring manager look for in a candidate?

That is dependent on the work.

A sales recruiter is looking for someone who can sell. A recruiter for engineering is looking for someone who can engineer.

So, how can you use your abilities and accomplishments to convince the hiring manager that you’re the greatest candidate for the job?

You must personalize your resume to each job description and understand how to apply the appropriate resume keywords.

I know what you’re thinking: but that’ll take forever!

It’s a lot simpler than it sounds.

This article will teach you how to tailor your resume to a certain job or employer by identifying the skills and keywords that recruiters are looking for, ranking them, and placing them in crucial places on your resume. Then it will inform you how to connect those talents to your accomplishments.

Why You Need to Tailor a Resume 

On average, some recruiters receive up to 250 applicants in response to an advertised position.

Falling into that category reduces your resume to the size of a needle in a haystack.

Furthermore, recruiters have developed methods to eliminate bad eggs, making their lives easier and yours more difficult.

They employ two approaches: Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) and rapid scanning.

A keyword scan is included in both techniques. The only difference is whether the scanning is done by a human or R2D2, and R2D2 is used by 70% of larger organizations to scan resumes.

The only way to combat both is to flood your ATS-friendly resume with job description keywords – aka personalizing your resume.

“Keywords are important because it’s the primary way recruiters source candidates on LinkedIn and in their HR systems (ATS). A candidate whose resume doesn’t include the exact-match keywords will not show up in the search. The job description is the best place to identify the top keywords.”-James Hu(Founder/CEO at Jobscan)

Isn’t it complicated? In fact, it could not be simpler.

Before you begin, here is an example of a job description and a personalized resume:
Examine the job description’s highlighted resume keywords.

Can you see how they appear on the resume?

You should strive to include keywords throughout your resume, including the resume profile (resume summary or resume objective), abilities, and experience.

I’ll walk you through the process step by step. Read on…

No One Keeps A Master List, But it Works So Well

To begin, create a master list of your abilities.

List all of your abilities, including strange ones like being able to tie a cherry stem with your tongue. Why?

Listing unconnected skills stimulates your creative energies.

Now, prioritize your professional capabilities, beginning with your most powerful and valued abilities. Think about soft skills, hard skills, and everything in between.

Your list will be useful when determining which of your skills are the most important in comparison to the skills specified in the job description.

Now I’ll show you how to tailor your resume and talents to a specific job description.

How to Find the Keywords You Need to Tailor a Resume

Okay, you’re going to look up talents in your job description.

Highlight any and all abilities and experience you have. Here’s how it’s done:
And bam! You’ve got keywords.

You will include all of these talents on your resume as long as you have them.

What happens to them?

That depends on their significance. How do you know this?

Begin by locating a number of offerings that are identical to yours.
Now, emphasize the abilities.
Make a list of abilities that overlap.
Finally, search LinkedIn for professionals with the job title from your job offer.

It is worth noting that professionals that have done an excellent job of optimizing their LinkedIn profiles would have employed keywords.

This is due to the fact that adding keywords on LinkedIn makes your profile simpler to find. Here’s how you use keywords to optimize your LinkedIn profile.

Look for these keywords in their skills and experience sections.

If they match any of the skills on your list of overlapping skills, they are likely to be the most valuable and sought.
Pro Tip: Once you’ve finished tailoring your resume to the job description, go back over your lists and add relevant abilities to your resume that weren’t listed in the job offer.

Here’s How to Categorize Your Skills Before Tailoring Your Resume

You can prioritize the placement of your most important abilities on your resume by categorizing them. This will help you to tailor your resume even further to a certain job description or employer.

There are three kinds of abilities:




Job-Related Qualifications

These are the most significant because they are required.

Let’s imagine you’re seeking for a position as a Software Developer.

According to the job description, Java is required. You can’t do the job if you don’t know Java.

Mandatory abilities should be listed in the top third of your resume so that a recruiter knows you’re qualified right away.

You can include them in your resume summary or objective.

As an example:

Software Developer with 5+ years of experience who is detail-oriented. Expertise in Java and C++.

Take note that “detail-oriented” is a common example of an adaptive talent. More on that in a moment.

But why is the top third so crucial?

Because that is where a recruiting manager looks first. Remember, she’s just scanning.

So you want her to witness your best skills in a matter of seconds.

Transferable Abilities

Transferable skills are those that “transfer” from one employment to another. They include skills such as using Microsoft Office or speaking a foreign language such as Spanish.

Examine your to-do lists. You should have two of them:

The master list of your strongest abilities.
Your list of skills that overlap.

In your job description, look for transferable talents.

Do any of them have overlapping abilities? Are any of them near the top of your list of personal abilities?

If so, incorporate the most important talents into your experience resume section. The remainder can be included in your skills section.

Adaptability Skills

These are the abilities that allow you to “adapt” to society. They include intangible abilities such as ethics and discretion.

The greatest way to incorporate them is to use them to describe yourself. Remember the last example?

Software Developer with 5+ years of experience who is detail-oriented. Expertise in Java and C++.

Detail-orientedness is a useful adaptive skill. Find the adaptable talents that appear on many lists and add those that you believe best define your resume.

Have you considered included a section on Hobbies & Interests?

Hobbies and adaptable abilities are both excellent ways to demonstrate your personality.

For example, if you want to display your attention to detail, take up a hobby that requires it.

Here’s why and how to include hobbies and interests in your resume to demonstrate your personality.

Students can also fill out their resumes by adding hobbies.

Draw Attention to Your Keywords Using Numbers and Achievements

Once you’ve added all of your keywords, it’s time to make them shine.

Demonstrating how successfully you apply your skills is one thing that will set your CV out from the rest.

Including specifics like as stats and accomplishments will spice up your keywords.

As an example:

Assume you wish to work as a server in a high-end restaurant. According to the job description:

Outstanding customer service abilities are necessary.

As a result, you include “responsible for customer service” as a bullet point under your current retail position.

Stop right now. What exactly does “responsible for customer service” imply?


What you should write is as follows:

“By providing exceptional customer service, we were able to reduce returns by 10%.”


For starters, the number will bring the hiring manager’s attention to this spot – where you’ve put the required term verbatim.

(You recently passed the scan exam.)

Second, the hiring manager will be able to observe how your customer service talents translate into something practical. Customers are satisfied with their purchases when you are in charge of customer service, which results in less returns.

(You have just landed an interview.)

Here’s How to Check If You Tailored Your Resume Well

When you’ve completed tailoring your CV, it’s time to see how well you did.

Put your resume into a cloud generator. It will display how frequently you have used a word.

If your keywords aren’t prominent, consider repeating them.

Did you use that expertise at more than one job?

Keep in mind that the robots can tell if you’ve added skills haphazardly or on purpose.

Next, have a look at Jobscan’s ATS simulator. Enter your job offer and CV into their tool to check how well you’ve employed keywords.

If your match is less than 80%, Jobscan will present you with personalized recommendations on how to improve.

Pro Tip: Tailor your cover letter to the job description by including keywords.
Furthermore, a strong cover letter that complements your resume will put you ahead of the competition.
Here’s how it might look:

It is essential to tailor your CV to a job description. And it’s the one piece of advice that applies to everything.
By adapting your CV to the job description, you demonstrate to the hiring manager that your experience is relevant and that you are the best candidate for the position.
So, if you’ve ever questioned why you’re not getting called in for interviews, perhaps it’s time to reconsider sending that generic resume and instead focus on tailoring to each job offer and then performing a resume critique.