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Put Your Job Search in Reverse

Let me tell you what you want to hear

➔ Here’s a job search concept that, if you haven’t already encountered it, you probably will come across it soon. It’s the idea of tailoring your response to a job opportunity using the skills, terms and goals that are mentioned in the ad or job description. Think of it as a form of reverse engineering.

Couldn’t have said it better myself

To start with, you have your resume. It lists your experience, your skills, your accomplishments, your strengths, etc. All in your own words. All of you on view for the workforce world to see. Then there is the job description where the employer lists all of the things that the company is seeking – skills, strengths, experience, etc.

And, when you get an exact match, you’re home free!

Not so fast. Getting that exact match is the stumbling block. This is where the work comes in. Fortunately, there are ways to lighten your load.

Look closely and carefully at the job description. Look beyond what the text says. Ask yourself what skills, traits and experience are important on that job? What skills are those people in those jobs utilizing day to day. Make a list if you have to.

Now take that list and compare it to your resume. Unless it’s a match made in heaven, there will be holes and gaps. Here’s where the artistry comes in. Make certain that you weave those skills, traits, etc. from the job description into your resume. This is not simple cut and paste, but the key word here is “weave.” Make your resume look and sound like their job description.

If you need help doing that, you can turn to AI (artificial intelligence.) Apps such as ChatGPT can do some, if not most of the heavy lifting.

You can prompt ChatGPT with a copy of your resume and ask it to re-write your resume to match this job description. Then paste a copy of the job description (or ad) in question and see what it says. The output may not be perfect, but it should put you on the right track.

Understand that we’re not recommending that you fabricate anything. Just talk the talk. Use the same language in your resume that they have mentioned in their job description. You want to be on the same page with these people, so do it. Literally.

Like we said earlier, it’s reverse engineering at its finest.


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