Pure Resume

5 secrets you didn't know about job ads

Resume writing tipsRobert Taylor1 Comment


Employers only have minutes to look at a resume. Knowing the hidden key messages of a job ad will give you a dynamite list of key words, personal traits and position requirements – from the employer straight to you!

Here are the five messages from employers that will give you an interview winning, tailored resume and cover letter to get you noticed!

  1. We are ...
  2. We're driven by ...
  3. The job is ...
  4. We'll love you if you are ...
  5. You'll love ...

1.  We are …

This is the best bit of information you can find on the job ad. The more you can know about the company the better able you are to get them to take notice of your resume. Going onto their website and reading about their history, their size, the people they work with, the products they produce or services they offer will help you to tailor your resume for them, setting you apart from the crowd.

With this info you can:

  • Use words or terms in your resume that they use on their site. Identify the buzzwords, key phrases, and reappearing information and use them when you describe yourself and your experience. When the employer scans your resume you will stand out as someone who is already speaking their language, showing them you are an excellent ‘fit’ for the organisation.
  • Identify from their site exactly what you have done in the past that will make them stand up and take notice, roles or projects that directly relate to them, their products or clients.

2.  We are driven by …

This is the information that will tell you what motivates and drives them and what they will look for most in a employee. Look for wording that describes the ‘way’ they do things rather than ‘what’ they do. The advertisement might mention words like innovative, driven, passionate, customer focused and agile. These are their deeper values and can be just as important to the employer when looking for someone to hire as the functional job requirements that are needed.

Note down these 'driver' words and use by:

  • Injecting them into your personal summary. For example, if they mention in the advertisement that they are ‘driven’ as a company you could copy those words into your personal statement or include similar words such as ‘passionate’ or ‘motivated’
  • Customising your bullet points under your working history. For example, if they describe themselves as ‘innovative’ or ‘agile’ make sure you add background experience bullet points or edit your existing ones to showcase the times you have done things like made changes for your workplace, brought in new processes or adapted to change well

3.  The job is …

This is often the most under-utilised and valuable area of the ad – mining this section for info and injecting it into your resume will guarantee to get you noticed. Don’t just add or address the skills or personal requirements that you have and ignore the things that you may not have done or have less experience in. Even these, with a little thought, can be added to your resume to show employers that you have everything they are looking for. Include each and every one of these required skills in your work history or summary of skills in some way.

Use the info in this section to:

  • Take each of the requirements one by one and look through your working history to see where, in each job on your resume, you might have used that skill or demonstrated that ability. Put you mind back to the job and scan your brain for ways in which that requirement might have come in to your role. You may need to include it (if it isn’t featured), move it up in the order (if the employers has mentioned it in the ad you should make it one of the first things in the bullet list for the job it is attached to), or re-word a similar reference already in your work history (to make it more closely match the company or content of the job ad)
  • Don’t miss out on any of the things the employer is looking for! Take the things in the ad that you might have little or no experience in and use them to illustrate similar things you have done. If the ad says ‘Background in finance or accounting’ be sure to highlight your resume if you have managed a budget for a project, balanced the books or till, organised quotes or handled invoicing. It may not be exactly the requirement written up in the ad but it will illustrate that you are financially minded.
  • Make sure you take the most important or strongly emphasised requirements in the ad and add them to your ‘Skills and Strengths’ section which is the best snapshot for busy employers to see that you have the qualities they are looking for.

4.  We’ll love you if you are …

This is information that is often found in different areas throughout the ad. Like reading between the lines to see what drives the employer or business, this section is the employer wanting to know what drives you. It may come in the form of ‘An exciting opportunity exists for a proactive professional’ or ‘The ideal candidate will need to possess incredible organisation and time management skills’, or ‘We look for people who have drive, passion, are progressive’.

Great, I’ve found it - now what?

  • Write a list of all the personal (not technical professional) qualities you can see they are asking for
  • Use these in your resume by repeating the words they use or rewording it to give a similar message but in the context of you
  • Use it to form part of your personal statement, put these qualities at the top of your ‘Skills and Strengths’ information and include them in your cover letter.

5.  You will love …

This is the info in the ad that is specifically written by employers to grab your attention and make you feel like this is the job for you. It also allows them to illustrate the sort of team and work environment that you will be entering into allowing both you and them to make sure you will be right for the role. You can show them you will be 'a great fit' by taking this information and injecting it into your resume.

This information might come in the form of: ‘This is a fantastic opportunity to join a market leading company offering you a chance to grow, expand and develop yourself and knowledge alongside a team of true industry specialists. This fantastic team and culture is second to none!

Use it, don’t lose it

  • Take the sentiment and add it to your personal statement eg. “I am looking forward to being part of an industry leading team allowing me bring my skills and experience as a … to contribute to the growth and development of the company”
  • Take any of the key action verbs, go through the bullet points in your working history and see if you can inject them at the start eg. ‘Worked on the company branding’ could use the employers own words by being changed to “Expanded and developed company branding’. In this way you are using their language to market yourself and giving them instant recognition that you are suited to the role.

For more writing hints and tips or beautiful resumes and cover letters visit us at pureresume.com.au