You must continue to tweak your resume for each position you apply to.
To improve job application success follow these steps:
Job seekers often use a ‘spray and pray’ approach when job searching. They monitor online job boards, upload their general resume to a whack of semi-qualified positions, and sit by, hoping and praying for a response.
For starters, online applications are a lot more competitive and don’t offer significant returns. Second, employers screen out ‘semi-interested-semi-qualified’ candidates when there are other qualified professionals in the cue, which leaves job seekers spinning their wheels, feeling frustrated.
Assess the alignment of your skills with job posting requirements
For example, does a job require a particular experience or skillsets outside your offerings (i.e., team leadership)? If you’ve never had direct oversight of a team before, be prepared to demonstrate transferable skills and examples in your resume to boost application chances (i.e., mentoring or training others).
If most job requirements reach beyond your abilities (10+ years of leadership), and you have no relatable or transferable competencies to ‘sell,’ give the application a second thought before hitting send. Forget it altogether. If you are not qualified for the role, applying is a timewaster. Locate positions well-suited for your abilities!
To increase ATS (applicant tracking system) resume screening, your resume and cover letter must include appropriate keywords and key phrases. Human readers also seek out these facts. How can you tell which keywords or phrases need to be added to your resume? The job posting will tell you. Take a highlighter and highlight the major skills, tasks, and requirements in the posting. What common keywords and phrases are repeated? What are specific industry terms (technical systems, acronyms, competencies, education) being asked for? All of these need to be integrated authentically into your resume to increase application success.
Know your value and weave in the keywords
You can’t effectively sell something unless you are clear of the value it provides. When applying for jobs, you are the item being marketed.
Rank higher with computer and human screeners by demonstrating an understanding of the target company’s pain points and aligning personal value with job requirements.
If you aren’t sure what your unique value proposition is, spend time carefully considering it. Analyze recent roles and identify areas you’ve consistently excelled at. Start and maintain a brag file. Draw up succinct examples that back- up ‘your claim to fame’ so you are ready to share specifics when called for.
Tailor the content of your resume for each application
A one-size-fits-all resume isn’t going to cut it. ATS will screen it out. Employers will toss it in the trash.
If you want an employer to take an interest in your offerings, you need to align your resume content with the job requirements. Customization takes time, but it can pay off big time. Employers are more likely to read a resume if it addresses their needs. ATS is more likely to qualify it.
Look for nuances and unique skills in the job posting and share examples of demonstrated success in these areas. Provide proof. Cut out unrelated content or details.