Cover letters are an excellent way of expressing your interest in, and your qualifications for, a specific job. With a cover letter, you can essentially cover every major point on the job description, addressing why you check each box and therefore would be an excellent choice for the job.
But cover letters aren’t the only way to prove yourself to be the perfect fit for an opening. Your resume itself can- and should- serve this same purpose.
Match the verbiage of the job description on your resume
We’re absolutely not suggesting you lie or even exaggerate your abilities on a resume, but sometimes a job description can list a specific requirement or qualification that you have a lot of experience with, but that’s written a different way on your resume. No problem. Simply change a few words around, and the precise requirement or qualification that was listed on the job posting appears on your resume!
For example, a company may be looking for someone with significant writing and social media skills for a copywriter position, and you may have been selling yourself as a versatile employee with experience in all sorts of different areas… including writing and social media. In this case, your resume would be tweaked to focus heavily on your writing and social media skills. After you’re done listing and explaining all your accomplishments in those two areas, then you can go ahead and mention, “Oh, by the way, I also have experience in all these other areas!” by listing your other skills.
Keywords are key to getting hired
Tweaking your resume to match a specific job description, in a general sense, will (hopefully) satisfy the hiring manager’s goal of determining that you’re a good fit for the job. But sometimes that hiring manager isn’t a person, but a machine. Yes, that’s the way of the world in 2022: machines are oftentimes responsible for determining if a candidate is a good fit for the position or not. It’s not a problem, necessarily; it just means you have to be a little more precise in terms of selling yourself and what you can do.
Keyword scanning, otherwise known as resume scanning is a process done by artificial intelligence to verify that your resume contains the exact words that an employer is looking for. So while you may not have to copy and paste the job description into your resume verbatim, the specific keywords that the job has listed (and most of the time, you’ll know them when you see them) need to be on it. The artificial intelligence system will separate the resumes that do have the keywords on them from the ones that don’t, and oftentimes, they do not account for synonyms or different ways of saying the same thing. When in doubt, list as many potential keywords as you can!