Is Matching Your Resume to the Job Description Cheating?

Simple answer: Not if you’re telling the truth.

Not too long ago I had a comment suggesting that matching a resume to the actual job description is playing unfair…and I think the commenter went as far as to call it cheating.  I worry that some of you out there think along those same lines. If so, you’re missing out on one of your resume’s best chances to get you an actual interview.

Here’s why…

When your resume lands in the hands of an employer – or whomever they’ve asked to screen it – you may have no more than a few seconds for the person reading it to see a connection to the job they’re looking to fill. So your main job at this point is to make it easy for them.

Please read the last line of the last paragraph again. I see so many people writing about how frustrated they are that no one EVER responds to their resumes.  But employers, who now get hundreds of resumes at a time in some cases, just don’t have the time to read your entire resume and think through carefully where there may be possible fits with the job in question. Especially if you haven’t taken the time to connect the dots for them.

They need you to help make it clear enough so that a quick first read shows enough potential matches with what they’re looking for that they stop for that all-important second look to see more of what you really have to offer. And you do this by carefully looking at each element of their job description, researching the company as best you can, and then, after reviewing your own experiences, reworking your resume to highlight experiences that match their needs. A good cover letter also helps focus them.

Does this work every time?

Of course not. There’s a lot of competition out there. But it’s your best chance of getting noticed enough to get the call. And so why would you do less?

As for the question of cheating…that is so far from what’s really going on. You are simply helping them see actual experience you have that would fit well with the job.  Rather than something being darkly nefarious, this is just plain smart. Plus it shows them you know how to analyze situations and respond in  a focused way to real business needs – a skill any employer is looking for!

For more on resumes…

Targeting Your Resume to the Job

10 Things I Look for When I Screen Resumes and Cover Letters

 

7 Resume Landmines That Can Blow Up AFTER an Interview

 

How to Handle Annoying Red Flags in Your Resume

 

How a New Resume Got Her the Job Interview!

 

My Number 1 Cover Letter Tip

About the author…

Ronnie Ann, founder of Work Coach Cafe, bases her real-world advice on her many years as an organizational consultant where she helped interview and hire people, added to a certificate from NYU in Career Planning & Development and her own adventures as a serial job seeker. She can also be found on her new blog, and on Google+.


About the author…

Ronnie Ann, founder of Work Coach Cafe, bases her real-world advice on her many years as an organizational consultant where she helped interview and hire people, added to a certificate from NYU in Career Planning & Development and her own adventures as a serial job seeker. She can also be found on her new blog, and on Google+.

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