Effectively Connecting Your Resume to the Job Description

According to Zippia, each online job posting returns resumes from more than 250 people. When you’re trying to stand out from the crowd, this number can seem daunting. 

However, many candidates don’t actually tailor their resumes to the specific jobs to which they’re applying. Instead, they may write a generic document that they send out to e very company. This is a problem because recruiters only spend around six seconds glancing at each resume before making decisions, so you need to make an impression fast. 

Even if you’re qualified for a role, you’re not going to be a top candidate if you don’t tailor your applications to the specific job posting. But what does it mean to connect your resume to the job description? 

Here are the four essential steps to take:

1. Identify what the company wants most in its ideal candidate. 

One of the most commonly overlooked elements of applying for jobs is reading the job description carefully. If you’re applying for many jobs that have the same or nearly the same job title, then you might believe these jobs have exactly the same requirements. But that’s not the case! 

Instead, read each job posting carefully and make a list of the qualifications and experience that is most important for each one. This way, you’ll have a sense of what to emphasize in your application materials. 

2. Use keywords from the job posting to tailor your resume to the role. 

Once you’ve figured out what the company wants most in their new hire, use the keywords they mention throughout your resume — exactly. Many companies use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to screen resumes for fit, and many of them scan for exact keywords from the posting. 

3. Use your summary statement to highlight the qualifications they desire. 

Gone are the days when you wanted to include a resume objective detailing the type of job you are seeking. Instead, include a summary statement, which is a short description of who you are and where you excel. 

For instance, a summary section might look like this:

Driven Finance Analyst with five+ years of experience developing robust partnerships with stakeholders, driving insights that enable smarter business decisions, and developing effective financial performance measurements.

However, your summary statement should not be static. Instead, the qualities that you mention should relate to what the company you’re applying to cares most about. 

4. Choose a resume format that enables you to emphasize the qualifications that best fit what the company wants. 

Many job seekers believe they have to use a reverse-chronological resume format, where they list their most recent position first and then move backward. But if your work experience doesn’t fit this pattern, you can make section headings of your own that better fit what the company wants.

For instance, if you’re applying for a job that’s more connected to positions you held years ago, not your current role, then label a section heading as “Accounting Experience,” rather than “Work Experience,” which typically previews a reverse-chronological resume format. 

Afterward, add an additional subtitle that reads “Additional Experience” where you could mention the other positions you’ve held that would be less important to the company. 

Career Moves Can Make Your Resume Stand Out 

Paul Wigglesworth, CPA and founder of Career Moves, can help you build the perfect resume and get it into the hands of the right people at many of the top companies in Connecticut. With more than two decades of experience helping accounting and finance professionals land their ideal positions, he knows what hiring managers look for in your resume. Contact Paul for assistance.