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How to Craft a Resume

Have you ever wondered why you never get called for interviews? It’s most frustrating when the job description is exactly the same as the job you’ve held for a long time – yet you don’t get the call. Maybe you didn’t craft a resume good enough.

A well-known sage once said, “There is no second chance to make a good first impression.” Much the same, your resume is an opportunity for you to get noticed. It’s the icebreaker that colors a conversation. If a hiring manager can’t get a clear sense of who you are and how you can get the boss off his or her back within 20 seconds, you’re out of luck.

In this chapter, we’ll review the most common reasons why prospective applicants don’t get called for interviews. We’ll also provide you with tips for designing a resume that will get you noticed.

Tailor your resume to each job

One of the most common habits of job seekers is to apply to as many jobs as possible—my friends and I compare this behavior to the dating game. The logic behind this is that if you apply for 100 jobs, you’ll get called for at least 10 interviews. In reality, though, you’re lucky to get called for five at most.

What’s the problem? One of the main reasons is the lack of a tailored resume for the job in which they’re applying for.

As a rule of thumb, I recommend spending up to four hours customizing your resume and cover letter for each job. Carefully review keywords in the job posting and try to use as many of them as are relevant to your qualifications. You have to imagine yourself as the hiring manager – would you hire yourself if you reviewed your own resume?

One useful tool for cross-checking how well your resume matches the job description is using the website Before sending your resume, paste it and the corresponding job description on Jobscan to see how your resume stacks up.

This tool allows you to effectively determine the following:

Match rate:

See how well your resume matches up with the job description. The website rates your match on a scale of 0 to 100 percent.


See how your hard and soft skills listed on your resume compare with those in the job description.


Compare one-word terms listed in the job description to the ones mentioned in your resume.

Find jobs with similar skills:

The results page provides a list of jobs with similar skills to those found in the job description. Search results are usually within a 25-mile radius of your computer’s IP address; however, this feature may not work in some locations.


Jobscan is very simple to use. Follow these easy steps to measure the quality of your resume:

Step 1: Visit and sign up for an account.

Step 2: Choose a plan. There are currently three plans. The free version allows you to do up to five comparisons. There are two options to pay for full features. The most popular is one that gives a whole month of unlimited comparisons for free.

Step 3: Copy and paste your job description and resume, click scan and wait for your results. It’s that easy!

Jobscan is a tool that gives job seekers an instant analysis of how well their resumes are tailored for specific jobs. Likewise, it shows how resumes can be better optimize resumes for an applicant tracking system (ATS).


Remember, your resume is not a laundry list

When you’re out shopping, you’ve probably got a list of things you need to get. Having a laundry list can help save money and makes trips to the market efficient and less stressful. However, as handy as these lists can be, they’re useless when it comes to the job hunt.

If your resume reads like a laundry list of things you’ve done in the past, it leaves a lot of room for interpretation to the judgement of the reviewer. A majority of resume reviewers are busy with their own day-to-day jobs and duties, so they won’t have time to interpret the extent of your skills and abilities. Instead, it’s better that your resume be self-explanatory.

It’s tempting to fall in love with your vast work experience and to try to include as much of it as you can on your resume. You should be proud of your accomplishments! But you must stop and think! Your work experience may be impressive, but so is that of the competition.

Instead of falling into the tempting habit of listing your impressive library of experiences, think about what the hiring manager is looking for and carefully select the experiences that match.


Mahama Nyankamawu

Author, Career 3.0