The time when you draft your resume and send it to multiple employers is now gone. In order to be effective, job seekers customize their job application documents to match the requirements of each and every position they apply for. Obviously, not all job hunters do that, there are still those who think sending out a generic resume is the best way to get a job. However, more and more people realize today that such an approach isn't efficient at all. As a result, they are tailoring their resumes and CVs for every job posting. At Prime-resume we believe such an approach is the only way to maximize the efficiency of one's job search efforts. And it all starts with a job posting. Before you ever get to resume writing, analyzing a job posting seems to be one of the most important things you can do. The question is how do you do it? What kind of information found in the job advert should drive your resume writing process?
Shedding Light on Reviewing Job Postings
If we were to ask job seekers how much time they spend reviewing a job posting, the majority of people would answer that they would have a 1-2 minute glance before they are done. The way job seekers approach analyzing job posting is in some way similar to how hiring managers scan through resumes when selecting the candidates for interviews. But anyway, 1-2 minute glance is not enough if you know what you are looking for. The truth of the matter is that job seekers only look at the job title and the years of experience required. For effective resume writing however, one needs to spend way more time to analyze the information given in the job posting and think everything through before drafting a resume. Obviously, knowing what to look for helps a lot.
First of all, move past the title. This isn't the main part of the job posting anyway. It is worth spending more time on the section where it says about the years of experience required. This should help you understand what kind of employee they are looking for; 1-3 years equates to an entry-level position, 4-9 years - to midlevel, while 10+ years means the company needs an accomplished professional for the job. At this point, you should make a judgment whether you are underqualified or overqualified. Neither of these options is good, but at least if you know what position you are in it can help you in writing a resume. Also, check if the company requires industry or even job-specific experience. Sometimes it is a must and there can even be a situation where relevant experience won't do it.
Secondly, find the requirements section and stay there for some time. This is the part where employers basically say what kind of employee they need so that instead of sending generic resumes applicants could specifically address the company needs on their resumes. Educational credentials, skills, certifications, experience - all of the things you find under this section is critically important. Before you sit to write a resume, you have to identify the key requirements that you are missing and address the issue both in your resume (provide relevant experience/accomplishment) and cover letter (explain why other skills that you have would compensate for those skills that you don't have). Thirdly, pay special attention to the rare skills required. If you want to stand out among other candidates, you should take time to emphasize the desired qualification many candidates don't care about as they think it isn't important. This is where you can make a difference in the eyes of hiring managers. Show off the desired skills that you have in your resume and cover letter explaining how they will bring value to the company.
Lastly, carefully study the section with general information about the company. This should help you understand whether that's a place where you can see yourself staying for at least a couple of years. Also, it is important to understand what they do to write an effective cover letter as well as prepare for a job interview. From there you can research the company's products to know who their clients are. Check what you can find online - anything from articles about the company to employee reviews on Glassdoors should help you in preparing your job application.