Build focused resume bullets from target JD

Use the Job Description to build a focused resume


In the last section, we talked about the job description. We also discussed how to find a JD if the recruiter has not provided one.  In this section, we will try to extract useful information from a Job Description.

Reverse Engineer the Job Description

You might be wondering, what information do we want to extract from the JD? A fairly simple answer is – information that would help us know what the recruiter wants.

This will help us construct an effective resume and prepare better for the interview . Reading a JD is important to pre-empt the job requirements that constitute a Job role.

Extracting information from a JD

Let me demonstrate the process of gathering information from a JD by taking a sample. We will use some reverse engineering to preempt the requirements here.

Let’s take a sample JD for a production engineer.

JD for a Production Engineer

Company X requires a candidate suiting the following job profile:

  • Meeting Production Target.
  • Ensuring On-Time Delivery.
  • Complying orders through SAP.
  • Ensuring 100% Product performance and Quality Assurance (QA) compliance before delivery.
  • Ensuring nil deviations in Final Quality Control (QC) checking.
  • Successfully carrying out Customer Factory Acceptance Tests (FAT).
  • Carrying out pre-FAT with Sales and QA for every product.
  • Suggest the quality improvement measures and ensuring implementation in the workshop.
  • Gathering feedback from service engineers about the installed systems and improve the process continually.
  • Review QA plans periodically and ensure customer requirements are completely met and covered in QA checklist.
  • Carry out root-cause analysis for all the problems encountered during testing and production and provide solutions and document them.
  • Lay down proper troubleshooting guidelines to fix issues in the assembly process.
  • Ensure 100% testing of products, validated with regards to customer perspective and deliver products as per schedule.
  • Support technicians for setting up product lines.
  • Participate in Scope Finalization meetings and understand the scope of all orders.
  • To understand customer requirements and customize processes to meet the production and testing requirement.
  • Taking monthly stock of production material and ensuring zero deviation.


Let us now try to investigate this particular case to look for what does the recruiter want? I will sum up the technique in four easy to follow steps:

Step 1: Identify Keywords in JD

Step 2: Make guesses for qualities/ experience required

Step 3: Use words & stories matching the qualities/ skills in JD

Let’s apply these steps to the Sample JD.

Step 1: Identify keywords in JD

Use a word cloud generator to find out which words are most frequently used in your target job descriptions. These words are important – use these in your resume.

Step 2: Make guesses for qualities/ experience required

What words do you think will matter to the recruiter?

The first line reads “Meeting Production Target”. You can draw several inferences from this phrase. Some of those are listed below:

  • Job is target oriented
  • Production engineering / statistical analytics seems important
  • Company values achievers

You can do similar analyses on whole of the JD.

Now that you know how to identify which qualities to showcase, let’s move to the next step.

Step 3: Use words and stories matching qualities and skills from JD

We have already deciphered the recruiters’ requirements for an interview. Let us now extract examples from our experience that fit these requirements. These can be used in the resume and also during the interview to project a great fit.

This is to make sure that we give the interviewer a subtle hint about our qualities rather than to make it obvious that we are deliberately trying to fit the bill. Let’s work on our production engineer job application.

We know that they want to see an experience where the candidate has achieved a target within deadlines. So we must add some bullets in the resume to corroborate the same:

  • Improved carousel efficiency by 40% and introduced staggered breaks in the plant saving 20 minutes per day
  • Registered a 30% growth YOY on a base of 10MT and achieved a stiff filling target of 12.8 MT surpassing company growth rate of 18%

These statements recite a victory story with the candidate at the helm of the action and innovation.

Let’s look at another statement, especially applicable to Freshers.

  • Organized and managed the inter-college event “Tech-Utsav”
    • Brought participation of 30 state colleges, up from 12 last year.
    • Used hyper-local marketing channels to promote the event in 15 cities of the state.
    • Raised sponsorship funds of INR 20 Lacs from 14 companies as against INR 8 Lacs last year.

Machine learning based Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)

Some companies use advanced software that identifies keywords relevant to job requirements to filter matching resumes from the pile they receive daily. This is commonplace when you apply to larger companies or through Job portals.

Modifying your resume to the recruiter search algorithm improves your chances of receiving an interview call.

Next we will the essential elements of any resume. Let us know in comments if you have any query.