Remember that part above about knowing your audience? That’s the first step. Before you even touch your keyboard, you’ll need to establish your focus. Use tools like LinkedIn or Indeed to search for jobs you’re interested in and would like to apply for. Having a LinkedIn Profile, specifically, is a fantastic way of reaching out directly to a hiring manager or recruiter. The more people you know, the better!
After you find a job description that sounds like a good fit, make sure to read it several times to understand exactly what skills the employer and the ATS are searching for. Look for keywords specific to your industry and, if they’re relevant to your experience, include those in your resumé.
While it may seem tedious at first, the best way to get your foot in the door is by matching what recruiters are looking for and emphasize it. If you have relevant work experience, it’s a no-brainer to take the extra steps. It also has the added benefit of showing recruiters and hiring managers that you’re detail-oriented and willing to put in the work to be noticed.
A word of caution: It might be tempting to use a one-size-fits-all resumé to mass apply and save some time, but that can hurt rather than help you. Instead, tailor your resumé to suit the specific job you’re applying for by using relevant keywords to explain why you’re uniquely qualified for the position.
Ideally, your skills section, work history, and previous job titles will closely align with the job description. However, hiring managers and human resources know that job seekers come from a variety of backgrounds so don’t be discouraged if your qualifications don’t align perfectly.