91% of recruiters favor job seekers with relevant professional experience. So having a high-impact resume job description (or work experience section) gets you employed.

Unfortunately, if you don’t have the specific experiences and skills recruiters are looking for in your resume, you will easily go into the discard pile. (Yep, even when you are the most qualified person for the job!)

That’s why writing a top-notch resume job description or experience section is not enough. You also need to tailor your resume job description (and your entire resume, for that matter) to the job you are applying for.

We understand how tough it is to be rejected and ghosted without any explanation. So we came up with this guide to arm you with the best tools to help you get employed.

In this article, you will see:


Save your time and energy by optimizing your resume for keywords that recruiters are looking for. Try Jobscan’s Resume Optimization Tool!


What is a resume job description?

Your resume job description section (work experience, employment history, or job responsibilities section) proves to recruiters and hiring managers that you have what it takes to do the job well. It is the heart of your resume where you showcase what’s under your belt – your previous employment experiences, volunteer work, community service, projects, internships, and other relevant professional experiences and accomplishments. 

Your resume job description section should contain the following:

  • Job title 
  • Company name 
  • Company location 
  • Dates of employment 
  • Measurable accomplishments

How your job descriptions help you get more interviews

The best way to get employed is to beef up your resume job description with key achievements. Here’s how your resume job description moves the needle in your job search.

  • A well-written job description in your resume establishes your credibility with prospective employers. It shows them what you bring to the table and why you are the perfect match for the job.
  • It is a billboard of your abilities, experiences, accomplishments, growth potential, and career trajectory. 
  • It shows recruiters and prospective employers that when hired, you can immediately start the ball rolling without much hand-holding and training on their end.

Although writing a robust job description or work experience section is important, it is not enough. You need to make sure your resume job description is optimized for ATS and contains specific skills, and keywords recruiters want. And the surefire way to do this is by tailoring your resume job description to the specific job you are applying for.

Pro Tip: Optimizing your experience section is just one piece of the puzzle. You also need to optimize the rest of your resume and tailor it to the description of the job you are interested in.

The secret sauce: Tailor your resume to the job description or job posting

Tailoring your resume proves to recruiters that you’re an experienced professional. Most importantly, it shows them that you’re the perfect fit for this role.

Ready to jump ahead? Start tailoring your resume now.

What does it mean to tailor your resume to the job description?

For most job openings, recruiters desire candidates with a particular skill set to perform specific tasks. Tailoring your resume is recognizing those skills and responsibilities in the job description and making it obvious that you’re up to the task. 

Your goal is to draw the shortest line possible between your professional experience and what’s stated in the job description.

  • A job posting says: “These are the skills we need and the qualifications we’re looking for.”
  • A generic resume job description says: “I have all this experience. I’ll leave it up to you to figure out whether I am capable of doing the job.”
  • A tailored resume job description says: “Here is an easy-to-read roadmap of where I acquired and developed each of your required skills and qualifications.”

A tailored resume gets past the ATS

Tailoring your resume optimizes it for Applicant tracking systems (ATS) which are used by 99% of Fortune 500 companies.

For example, the most popular ATS, Taleo, automatically scores and ranks your resume based on how well it matches the job description. If you applied through an ATS, there’s a strong chance your generic resume wasn’t even read.

How to write a tailored job description for your resume

Writing a tailored resume job description that gets past the ATS and attracts recruiters is achievable. Here’s how you do it:

1. Use the top half of your resume’s first page

Together with your contact information and resume summary, your job description is one of the first things recruiters and hiring managers read in your resume. 

Since they only spend around 7 seconds before they rule you out or move you to the next round, it is imperative that you put your experience section on the top half of your resume. 

2. Check the specific job description of the position

Go line by line through the job description and ask yourself these questions:

  • “Does my resume experience section clearly state that I can do what’s required of this role?”
  • “Am I using the same language found in the job description or job posting?”

By doing this, you might find several different or missing skills and keywords in your generic resume.

3. Begin with basic details

Be specific. The hiring manager should know exactly what you did at your previous or current employers, so they can gain a thorough understanding of your work history. 

Begin each resume job description with essential information about the job and company: your official job title, the name and address of the company, and the period in which you worked there. 

4. Match skills and keywords from the job description

Mirroring the language, keywords, and buzzwords found within the job description is the easiest way to demonstrate you’re a better match than the competition. 

The best way to ensure you pass the ATS is to take words from the job posting and strategically put them in your job descriptions and other resume sections. But make sure you don’t stuff your resume with too many keywords.

5. Write your job title clearly

Recruiters will first search for people who have done the job before, so list your job titles clearly. If you haven’t held the job before, list it under your name at the top or as part of your summary section. Match your job title to the one in the job posting when possible.

6. Focus on skills and quantify your achievements

Be selective about what you include. Place an emphasis on your accomplishments over job responsibilities. 

Use numbers and action verbs to describe your role and responsibilities. Action verbs are great at conveying your leadership potential and work well at impressing hiring managers. 

Read:

7. Do not lie

Emphasizing or deemphasizing your resume skills is not the same as lying on your resume (which we definitely don’t suggest). Few applicants have every skill and meet every qualification. Tailoring your resume is about making sure the recruiter or hiring manager notices the ones you do have.

Examples of tailored job descriptions on resumes

Here are some examples of job descriptions, sample work experience sections (resume job descriptions) tailored to the specific job, and what you can imitate about them.

Sales Manager

Sample Job Description

Source: Glassdoor

Sales Manager Resume Job Description (Work Experience)

Why this is a good job description for resume:

  • The job seeker clearly and specifically outlined key responsibilities and top achievements.
  • The job seeker used sales metrics and shared how he always seeks to constantly improve his leadership and communication skills.
  • He touched on his experience with leading a sales team which is a key attribute the company is looking for.
  • He matched the keywords found in the job posting.

Accountant

Sample Job Description

Source: Glassdoor

Accountant Resume Job Description (Work Experience)

Why this is a good job description for resume:

  • The job seeker specifically mentioned that she was able to cut company costs and develop internal controls. She quantified her key achievements in ABC Company.
  • The job seeker outlined her proficiency in accounting software and mentioned which software she knows how to use. Recruiters might filter candidates by specifying the type of software the company uses. 
  • The job seeker matched the keywords GAAP and FASB but she spelled them out and added the acronyms. This is strategic because there is no knowing whether recruiters will filter their search using the long-form or the acronym of a specific skill or expertise.

SEO Specialist

Sample Job Description

Source: Glassdoor

SEO Specialist Resume Job Description (Work Experience)

Why this is a good job description for resume:

  • The job seeker matched keywords exactly with what is in the job description. Some of the relevant keywords are incorporated under her Content Writing experience.
  • The job seeker wrote quantified achievements like increase in website traffic.
  • The job seeker was careful with what she included in her work experience section. Everything is well-thought-out, concise, and specific.

Executive Assistant

Sample Job Description

Source: Glassdoor

Executive Assistant Resume Job Description (Work Experience)

Why this is a good job description for resume:

  • The job seeker incorporated keywords in his resume job description.
  • He wrote a specific metric of his key achievement as an executive assistant. 
  • He also mentioned the number of supervisors that he closely worked with and supported.
  • He matched the skills exactly as they are in the job description (e.g. attention to detail, organizational skills, interpersonal skills).

Customer Service Representative

Sample Job Description

Source: Glassdoor

Customer Service Representative Resume Job Description (Work Experience)

Why this is a good job description for resume:

  • The job seeker matched relevant keywords and skills found in the job description.
  • The job seeker mentioned that he was Top Customer Service Representative of the year for 5 consecutive years. This speaks volumes about his work ethic and competence.
  • He included a quantified key achievement and wrote his work experience section clearly and concisely.

Pro Tip: When applying for multiple jobs, make sure that your resume is customized to every job application.

Incorporating relevant keywords and phrases in the job posting is not limited to your resume job description or work experience section. You can include optimized keywords in the other sections of your resume. Learn how to create your killer resume in our step-by-step guide.

Make sure your resume or cv is ready for ats

Key Takeaways

Your resume job description (work experience, employment history, job responsibilities section) is a critical part of your resume. Use this real estate to prove to recruiters that you have what it takes to do the job right. 

Here are a few takeaways on job descriptions for resume:

  • Include quantified achievements and specific responsibilities in your resume job description (work experience.)
  • Tailor your work experience section to the job description of the position you are applying for.
  • Customize your resume for every job application you are submitting.
  • Optimizing your entire resume to the specific job will help you get past the ATS and land your dream job.
  • Try Jobscan’s Resume Optimization Tool and don’t miss out on the specific skills and accomplishments recruiters and hiring managers are looking for.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What does it mean to tailor your resume to the job description?

Tailoring your resume is recognizing the skills and responsibilities in the job description and making it obvious that you’re up to the task. You can do this by incorporating the key skills and keywords in the job description into your resume.

What is the best resume job description format?

Your resume job description or work experience section should be in reverse chronological format. This means you start with your most recent job and work backward for every subsequent job.

How far back should your resume work experience section go?

For most industries, you can list the past 10 to 15 years of your work history on your resume. 

Read: How Far Back Should a Resume Go?

How do you describe your work experience on a resume?

Include your official job title, the name and address of the previous company, and the period in which you worked there.

What are technical, or hard skills, on your resume?

Hard skills are one of the most important resume keywords. These are technical skills learned through experience (e.g. project management, knowledge of software or tools, reception, certifications, writing, or payroll). Whether a recruiter is skimming your resume or an ATS is analyzing it, hard skills will help catch their attention. Match them verbatim to the job description when possible.

Which skills should you include in your job description for your resume?

Pay special attention to the skills mentioned first or multiple times. Start each new job entry in your work experience section with skills and qualifications that are found in the job description, even if they weren’t the most important part of your day-to-day responsibilities when in the role. 

How do you tailor your resume for a career change?

Follow the same process of leading with keywords from the job description in your career change resume. Chances are, many skills from your previous career will be transferable to your new one. Be sure to provide context and translate phrases to match the job description’s preferred terminology when needed. 

The summary section of your resume is going to be your best friend when seeking to change careers. This area of a resume is your opportunity to explain your expertise and how your existing skills will make you a great candidate for this new career.

How do you tailor your resume if you are a recent graduate with no experience?

If you recently graduated and don’t have an abundance of experience to share on your resume, you can include volunteer work, projects, and internships.

Read: How to Write a Resume with No Experience

What are other tips on how to tailor your resume to the job description?

  • A generic resume is about you while a tailored resume makes it about them (and they all want it to be about them).
  • Using bullet points instead of big paragraphs on your resume will make your matching qualifications more skimmable.
  • Corporate recruiters prefer to see skills in context. If they see a skill on your resume, they need to understand how and why you used it.
  • Describe your accomplishments using data when possible with dollar amounts, percentages, or other measurables to prove your effectiveness.
  • Tailoring your resume is also about removing information that distracts from your top skills. Look at every line on your resume through the lens of, “Is this necessary to prove I’m a great fit for this job?”

Get help tailoring your resume

Manually tailoring your resume takes a lot of work. That’s why Jobscan created tools that speed up this process.

With Power Edit, the most important skills and keywords missing from your resume update as you work. 

Simply upload your resume, paste the job description, follow the keyword and formatting suggestions, watch your score go up, then export your tailored resume.


DDo dynamic resume tailoring, ATS optimization, and formatting all in one place with Power Edit. For a closer look, check out this video.