Does Your Resume Match The Position Description?

Resume Keywords

I recently spent some time picking the brains of two hiring managers.

We got to talking about jobseekers, resumes, approaches to resumes, what they looked for in a resume, and job descriptions.

Something they both mentioned as a common frustration is when the candidate’s resume doesn’t match the position they are interviewing for. The job is for a VP of Product Development, but you have spent your career in procurement.

They understood that sometimes people want to transition out of what they are doing. They want to change industries, change positions, want to do something different, or just do something they’ve always been interested in.

But if that’s what you want to do, you need to make a case for yourself.

Prove to the hiring manager why you are the right fit even if your experience has been slightly different. Don’t make them search for it–because they won’t.

Do you have what they need?🤔

Many of my clients and the jobseekers I talk to struggle with what should be on their resume. Do they add ALL of their information? Older info as well, if it was relevant to the role? Less? More? Help!!!

Here are some things to consider when drafting your resume:

✅ 𝗥𝗘𝗟𝗘𝗩𝗔𝗡𝗖𝗘. First, do you really have the experience the position asks for? Be honest with yourself. You don’t want to waste your time or the hiring manager’s time if you really don’t have experience (or transferable skills) in that role. If yes, add examples of what you’ve done. If not, don’t fake it. Leave it off and lead with other experiences.

✅ 𝗞𝗘𝗬𝗪𝗢𝗥𝗗𝗦. Examine the description and notice the words they use over and over. This tells you that those words will most likely be keywords ATS will look for. Does your resume have those keywords? You can sprinkle them throughout your resume, but keep your focus on “above the fold”. This is the area that when someone is reading a document on a computer screen, the words above the bottom of the screen are what stand out first. Many times, if what is above the fold doesn’t interest/pertain to them and what they need, they’ll move on.

✅ 𝗦𝗞𝗜𝗟𝗟 𝗦𝗘𝗧. What skills do you offer the role? Each of us has a unique skill set we bring to the job. Great at relationship building? Expertise in vendor negotiations? Specialize in cybersecurity? Again, refer to the position description. What skills of yours do you see in that description? You may have more than you realize. There may be things you do every day that pertain to that new role. Make sure to add these things to your resume, as well.

✅ 𝗩𝗔𝗟𝗨𝗘. What value do you offer? How can you help the company? In what ways have you achieved success? Use quantitative examples where possible. What awards have you received? What results have you produced?

Offer proof by adding numbers $ or percentages % wherever possible.

It’s not impossible to switch careers mid-career. When you have the skills that the role calls for, make sure they are easy to find on your resume. That will make the decision to call you in for an interview that much easier.

The Essential Resume Tool: KEYWORDS

Resume KeywordsResume Writing


Keywords are an essential piece to a well-written resume. Why? Because they are the words that describe what you do. They also let the reader know immediately whether or not you are a potential candidate for them.
Keywords are “buzz” words or industry specific jargon that communicates a message about your qualifications, accomplishments, credentials or responsibilities. They are action-driven and demonstrate your value to the company.
Each keyword has a message attached to it. For example:  Operations Leadership message is– process performance improvements, operational compliance, cost reductions, safety implementation, etc. They help tell the story in conjunction with action verbs (created, developed, launched, delivered…) to pack more of a punch and keep the reader interested.
With companies receiving thousands of resumes per job opening, they have come to rely on keyword-searchable databases to weed out candidates that don’t fit the position and save the candidates that do. These machines are programmed with certain keywords and receive “hits” for resumes that match the data. Keywords are also being used on job boards and professional networks like LinkedIn.  Hiring managers can go to LinkedIn and type in “Pharmaceutical Sales Representative” and if you have those words in your resume, you become a match.
Keywords can be used throughout the resume. You can add them to your career summary at the top, or in your job description, and within your accomplishments to bring out your strengths. Here is an example of keywords within a career summary. I added bold so you could tell which ones they are:
“Dynamic executive leadership career of diverse organizations with a rich mix of finance, operations, internal/external processes, sales and business development. Intimate knowledge of financial processes, accounting practices, operating results and profitability. Expert in executing team-driven process improvements to increase revenue growth, operational efficiency, and overall profitability.”
See how keywords are peppered all through there? This resume will be able to stand up against company keyword machines.
Take a close look at your resume and make sure it is keyword-saturated. If you need help with keywords, go to Amazon and buy a book of keywords. Definitely worth the money.