How to Tailor Your Résumé to Match the Job You Want

Something we have recently observed to be a common occurrence; is a gap between what companies are looking for to qualify candidates, and what job seekers are putting on their résumés.

For people looking for a new opportunity in their area of expertise, this can make finding a job a bit of a challenge.

While part of the issue is that employers are not being entirely clear about the qualifications applicants need to apply, there are things job seekers can do to make their skills and experience stand out to employers.

Here are some of our recommendations:

1. Use Key Words From the Job Posting

Nearly all companies use AI to sort through applications these days. By using words from the posting, the applicant tracking system will instantly recognize the congruence between the post description and your résumé. Additionally, when employers are reading through résumés, industry buzz words are what will jump out at them first. Because many companies have yet to master the “science” of a perfectly communicated job description; the next best thing for candidates to do, is use the right terminology.

2. Apply in More Than One Place

Of course the first place that you want to apply, is directly on the company’s website or using the link the job posting provides. However, if you want to get in quicker, consider sending an email to HR or the hiring manager. Not only does this show initiative and a proactive approach, it will also give you a chance to better explain what you can offer. Applications or submitting your resume through an employment site don’t always give you a chance to thoroughly share your skills. When you’re sending an email, put some of your hard skills and experience in the body of the email.

3. Use Simplicity

Many people submit résumés that are multiple pages and have way too many skills and qualifications listed. While this may be necessary for someone looking for an executive role; individuals who are just getting back into the workforce after a hiatus, or are simply looking for the same role at a different company should be concise. You don’t need to showcase everything you’ve done/can do, you just need to inform them why you are a good fit for the role.

4. Include an Objective

There are so many different résumé templates out there, that the types that employers receive will vary. However, one thing that they should all include; is an objective. This is simply a brief statement that communicates why you are applying for the job and what you can offer. It is typically the first thing included on a résumé, after ones name and contact information. This gives the employer an instant chance to determine whether or not a person could be a fit for what they’re looking for. If your objective is well-done, it will catch their eye.

5. Call or Apply In-Person

While this may not be the right strategy for every position; if you are looking for work in the warehouse or light industrial space, it can definitely be a good option. Many companies in that industry are looking for people to start right away and will even offer you the position and let you start working the same day. Since many of the skills needed can be taught relatively quickly, it benefits employers to get you in and on the floor right away. If you call, they will very likely ask you to come in for an interview and offer the position on the spot if you’re a good fit.

Additionally, it may be helpful to contact a staffing agency to have a recruiter help you with your résumé and share new, local opportunities.


If you or someone you know is looking for a job, we at Award are here to help. We update our job boards daily. Check out our newest opportunities here.