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Resume Guide

Based on the guide from the professional development team at Minerva Schools at KGI

🔧 Tailoring Your Resume to the Job Description

To evaluate whether you have the skills required to succeed in a role recruiters and hiring managers will reference the content of your resume with the skills most often found in a section titled “Required Skills/Essential Skills/What we’re looking for.” Students often create generic application materials in order to quickly apply to multiple roles. If your past experiences are already perfectly aligned with the requirements listed in a job description, that’s wonderful! However, it’s more likely that your previous experiences don’t perfectly align. In this case, framing your past experiences to fit the description of the role and customize keywords to fit those in the job description. Each experience you list most likely won’t pertain to every skill or requirement listed in the description. Instead, you should strive highlight you have the relevant skills and experiences across all your experiences.
Use case: You are applying to a role that requires “excellent verbal and written communication skills,” but you’ve never had a role explicitly focused on communication. In this case, you should focus on describing the responsibilities you had within previous roles which required you to communicate with precision and clarity.
In order to see how to apply this skill in practice, let’s look at some examples. In each example below, we share the “requirements” section (or equivalent) from a real job description and accompanying untailored and tailored resume descriptions.

Example 1: Business Development-Seller Relation Intern description

Experience as sales / telesales is preferred
Nimble, agile, able to nurture relationships with customers and to handle the job effectively
Proactively learn on the job, not afraid to suffer of hardship
Diplomatic and negotiation ability
Creative in creating posts on social channels

Generic Experience Example:
Audi, Social Media and Marketing Intern
Planned and managed Audi’s social media presence on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, increasing net engagement by 13%.
Analyzed the influencer competitive space to inform future marketing strategies.
Assisted with data collection and social reporting.

Example of Tailored Descriptions:
Audi, Social Media and Marketing Intern
Created innovative social media posts on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter which increased sales by 8%.
Engaged with more than 100 customers through our social media channels in order to build community and greater customer loyalty.
Collaborated with a group of 5, often facilitating brainstorming sessions and diplomatically resolving conflicts between co-workers.

What makes the second example stronger?
In this second example, we can see how the first bullet point has been tailored to focus on “creating social media posts,” as opposed to “planning and managing social media presence.” This tweak in language now makes it clearer that the applicant has relevant experience related to the requirement of being “creative in creating posts on social channels.”
They have also tailored their descriptions to the role by highlighting a relevant responsibility that was initially encompassed within the first bullet point of “planning and managing social media presence.” They described their “engagement with customers through social media channels” in order to directly target the requirement of being “able to nurture relationships with customers.”
In the third bullet point of the “Tailored Descriptions,” we can also see how the applicant decides to shift their focus towards another relevant responsibility/achievement that was absent in the “Untailored Descriptions.”

Example 2: Data Analyst description

Ability to communicate effectively with non-technical stakeholders
Proven track record of using both quantitative and qualitative data to tell meaningful stories that inform decision-making
Broad knowledge of applied statistics, experimental design, and causal inference
Experience with data analysis software (e.g., Alteryx, Excel), and/or programming languages (e.g., SQL, R, Python)
Experience with data visualization tools (e.g. Tableau, Power BI)
Ability to build trust-based relationships with and influence diverse stakeholders (e.g., program staff and beneficiaries; senior management)

Generic Experience Example:
TechOuts, Data Analyst Intern
Worked closely with both the editing team and field team to ensure the accuracy of daily survey data input.
Managed internal database and provided statistical analysis reports for the general household team.
Developed a daily questionnaires editing output collection system.
Example of Tailored Descriptions:
TechOuts, Data Analyst Intern
Analyzed big data and implemented predictive analysis trends utilizing Excel, Tableau and Python.
Presented and explained final reports to other staff from non-technical departments, resulting in an increase in their engagement with the product by 37%.
What makes the second example stronger?
The focus of the descriptions have been shifted, and now focus on specific roles/responsibilities that the applicant has had that are more directly related to the requirements within the job description.
The first bullet point of the second example explicitly highlights specific data software that they have worked with (which were also mentioned in the job description, so they know that these are desirable), and effectively demonstrates that they have experience with them.
Shows that they have the “ability to communicate effectively with non-technical stakeholders” by describing their role in presenting/explaining technical information to non-technical departments AND outlining the positive impact that this had (thus showing that they were successful).

Example 3: Community Support description

You have strong writing skills and experience adopting a brand voice & tone.
You pay attention to details and love to get creative with words.
You're patient, warm, and organized in your thinking. Kindness is key.
You're curious about people and problems, a good listener who's naturally interested to dig in, ideate, and find solutions.
You want to get into UX research, product ops, or marketing at some point in your career.
You're enticed by the eventual opportunity to manage a team.
You actually enjoy troubleshooting tech problems for your parents.

Generic Experience Example:
The Minerva Quest, Writer
Wrote 5 articles throughout the academic year.
Attended regular meetings with editors and other writers.
Conducted 8 interviews with Minerva students about financial aid.

Example of Tailored Descriptions:
The Minerva Quest, Writer
Wrote 2 articles for the satire column, “Meekly,” tailoring language and developing creative ideas to suit its humorous tone.
Wrote 3 opinion pieces as a result of having identified and investigated common concerns/issues within the school community.
Conducted and published 8 interviews with Minerva students about sensitive topics using an empathetic and structured approach.

What makes the second example stronger?
In the first bullet point, we can see how the applicant has included more details about the writing techniques they’ve used in order to better demonstrate that they are a strong writer.
The topic of the second bullet point has been changed completely, and now attempts to directly target the requirement of being “curious about people and problems, a good listener who's naturally interested to dig in, ideate, and find solutions.”
The third bullet point has been tweaked, shifting its focus to highlight the soft skills that the applicant used during the interviews. This attempts to demonstrate that they are “patient, warm, and organized in [their] thinking.”

🤔 Tips and Guiding Questions:

Put yourself in the shoes of the recruiter - based on the job description and any other information you can find online about the role (and/or from calls and informational interviews), which skills and qualifications will they be looking for? After you’ve identified those skills, make sure you focus on really demonstrating that you have those skills and qualifications in your resume.
A resume should be specific to the role you are submitting it for, and your descriptions should be tailored so that they can most effectively demonstrate that you do indeed have the skills required to be successful in the role. You might choose to have the job description up on another tab while you’re writing your resume, so that you’re able to frequently refer back to it and cross-check whether you’ve covered all of the required skills.
Try copying the job description and paste it into a , selecting the "word list" option to check the frequency of each word used in the job description. The most frequently used words tend to be important keywords/skills that companies are looking for! Make sure to include these in your resume.
If you want to demonstrate that you’ve developed a transferable skill, make sure it’s easy for the recruiter to identify it. They’re not going to put in the extra time to deduce that you might have developed a certain skill from an experience. Spell it out for them, using relevant keywords and action verbs. Here’s a list of from The Muse.

🖥️ On Applicant Tracking Software (ATS)

Many companies use ATS to scan resumes and determine your fit for a specific role. Here’s how to , and to see how well your resume is being parsed by ATS when you apply to jobs. You can also read more about and more here.
Now that you’ve read through this page, you can practice tailoring your resume in the .
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