Why I believe Ctrl+F can get you an interview

How many times have you purchased the same exact birthday gift for every one of your friends? Hopefully never. Given you’re a normal human with friends who aren’t clones.

It’s the same with a resume. You shouldn’t submit the same resume to every position. It doesn’t make sense. Different companies look for different things.

Don’t be the person who gives everyone an Amazon gift card. You know who you are.

But I get it. It’s time-consuming and you have better things to do. Wrong. Nothing is more time-consuming than being stuck in the job search because you don’t do things right the first time.

Hop aboard. Let me show you why I believe Ctrl/Command+F is crucial to getting an interview. There are two steps to this process.

STEP 1: Highlight the job description.

So you found a job you’re interested in. Awesome! You have a detailed job description that aligns with your interests and skills. Copy and paste the description into Word, or better yet, print it out and escape from your computer screen. Grab a highlighter and note the following:

  1. Keywords
  2. Themes
  3. Points of emphasis

Let’s say we have a job description with the requirements listed below. I suggest highlighting it as follows:

  • Develop strong relationships with clients and investors
  • Collaborate with internal program coordinators to ensure initiatives are met
  • Establish and communicate company-wide strategic priorities to team members

Given those results, we might make the following assumptions:

  1. Relationships and collaboration are crucial
  2. Communication is central
  3. Achieving results that align with initiatives and priorities is key

Your resume must emphasize your ability to do those three things.

Step 2: Use Ctrl+F to optimize your resume.

After you determine keywords as outlined by the company, it’s time to optimize your resume. Optimization involves effectively tailoring your resume to the position and company.

Whoever wrote the job description did so in a strategic and thoughtful way. The words they chose matter. You wouldn’t refuse a clue at a murder mystery party, so don’t ignore the clues offered to you by a job description.

Open up your resume and use Ctrl+F (a keyboard shortcut that helps you find a word or words on a page).

According to Dan Russell, a search anthropologist at Google, only 1 in 10 people use this function. If you haven’t used it before, get it together. This an essential skill. You’re welcome.

After you activate the find function (using Ctrl/Command+F), type in one of the keywords you highlighted, for example, relationships.

  • Is the word relationships included in your resume?
  • Does your resume include relevant synonyms such as community, team, or partnerships?
  • Can you edit your resume to include the word relationships while still accurately representing your experience?
  • Can you move your experience with relationships to the top half of your resume?

That’s optimization. That’s what it takes to truly tailor your resume to a position.

Invest in this process and you will be rewarded in the job search. Have a trick for tailoring your resume? Let me know in the comments below!


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