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Details Matter: Read the Job Description

by Melissa Small
Application 1883453 1920
 

What’s in a job description?

Clues that will help you get the interview, and maybe even the job. Carefully reading the description of the job for each posting that you plan on applying to is important. So is aligning your cover letter and even your resume to each posting.

There are free resources that you can access such as JobScan to mimic the keywords or phrases that employers might be looking for in a job posting to a resume/application. You can alter phrases and words to gain a high suitability score, and you’ll be surprised how easy the process can be and what a big difference it makes to employers.

Beyond doing your research on a company, you always want to align your wording to theirs. This both shows that you’ve done your research and will help to show that you have similar values. Small things in an interview like referring to clients as “guests” when the company calls them “customers” could add up and be off-putting to a potential employer. They look for candidates who are confident in communicating their skills during the hiring process.

When listing a skill on your resume or cover letter, it’s about more than using the right words. If you have “attention to detail”, then tell them why that matters. Why is that important to the overall qualifications or responsibilities that they’re looking for? Adding these elaborations can strengthen your understanding of the job and increase the professional opinion that employers will start to develop during the hiring process.

The more keywords that you use, the more time that an employer might spend looking at your resume. Studies vary, but overall employers will be able to make a decision on the suitability of your resume to their needs in about 60 seconds. That’s not a lot of time. Think strategically about how you can organize and arrange the relevant information and use formatting tools such as bolding or underlining to provide a soft but attractive appearance to your application.

Need more help with your application? Visit one of our Lutherwood Employment Services Resource Centers for more support and information. Our staff can assist you in writing and reviewing your application and can offer free printing to support your job search and career planning.