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How to Get Attention with a Tailored Interior Design Resume & Cover Letter

business of interior design career advice emerging professionals getting an interior design job interior design writing resumes Aug 03, 2021
How to write an interior design resume and cover letter to get recruiters' attention

16 Tips to Tailor your Interior Design Resume to Match a Job Description

The moment you have all been waiting for has come. You just graduated or are about to conclude your interior design program. You finally made it to this point, and now it feels more stressful than ever. Where to even start?

Did you know employers spend six seconds on average reading resumes?

It almost seems like an impossible task to narrow an individual’s entire life down to six short seconds of information. There has to be a magic potion to bottle up the entirety of your personal and professional qualifications into a short glimpse and get hired, right? Especially over hundreds of applicants, and there is only one open position.

First and foremost, you were meant to work for a fantastic firm, whether your resume proves it or not. Second, integrating distinctive words about your character and experience allows your content to pop off the paper into the lap of your new hiring manager. So do not stress about this step; we have you covered. Just keep reading.

The best way to set yourself apart from the other candidates is to create a tailored resume and cover letter.

This demonstrates your ability to follow simple directions, show how detailed a person you are and the value you offer their company. Perfectly tailoring these introductory documents will show you have the viable skills to do that job and have previously used them in successful positions.

After scrolling through a couple of job boards, you find many attainable positions you could apply to. Choose to focus on just a few starting out. Keep in mind, you may need to write multiple resumes before getting the perfect one to use. This is all about learning and shaping the language more and more with every job applied to. You may find yourself writing an award-winning resume and cover letter. And then, you discover new information on enhancing them after submitting. Do not lose sleep over it. This is about the journey, not the destination.

No one has all the skills and experience required for a job.

You simply can only gain this from taking on the role proposed. As companies seek out new personnel, they often have a definite list of needs or tasks that qualified individuals can only do. That is the baseline of necessary skills or certifications needed to hold that title. They may create the job description with several more ‘requirements’ that they feel would be a bonus to their company but are not crucial. Your first quest is to differentiate the two before applying.

Showcase your most relevant qualifications using specific keywords. 

Employers will scatter particular words throughout the job post to see if you will read the description thoroughly. It is easy to do, but you would be surprised how many do not read the post from start to finish and write them directed towards a different description.

The Hiring Process is Not About Us.

Recruiters are really only checking out your resume to see how you can benefit their company. Do not treat this process as a creative session in the kitchen. Stick to the recipe on this one. This sale is all about what you can offer them. Carefully select what to share after reading over the job description several times in search of powerful words related to necessary skills.

Start With A Strong Cover.

The cover letter is the first thing employers see while reviewing your job application. To acquire the recruiter’s attention, the cover letter needs to include a few key points and be written clearly and concisely. They look for specific words in these letters that show the candidate meets their professional needs. Use the following ten steps as a starting point.

  1. Print out the job description. This helps you mentally orient yourself into that company. Highlight any keywords pertaining to roles and duties required.
  2. Read the job description several times. The first time through, consider the skills required as the focal point. The second time around, focus on the role, picturing yourself in that position.
  3. Thoroughly understand the expectations that will be placed on you. Far too many people get fired for overstating their qualifications during the hiring process just to crash and burn when taking on the role. At some point, your word will be put to the test, so only speak on truthful things.
  4. Focus on a strong introductory paragraph. A well-written, customized cover letter should include the ’company’s name, position, and other identifiers included in the job description. Do not start with a personal greeting, as these can come across insincere and unprofessional. Instead, include a basic summary of the cover letter as an outline. Chances are, they will only read the introduction.
  5. Ask yourself these four questions concerning the skills required:
    • What skills are needed and outlined in the description?
    • What skills do you carry?
    • Do you have any documented past performance to legitimize your skills?
    • Are there any technical skills or certifications required?
  6. Ask yourself these two questions regarding the role:
    • What will you be doing in this role?
    • What past roles have you held that prepared you for this position?
  7. When addressing the requirements of the job description, follow the order they have in place. They are listed from most to least important in the job description.
  8. Articulate your words in the same style they used. Cater to their writing style by speaking their language. Use specific words and phrases correctly, and it may be the only thing that catches the hiring manager’s eye.
  9. Tell them why you want this position. Then, identify all the ways you can add value to their company without using those exact words.
  10. Use this as a guideline for the structure of your cover letter.
    • Header
    • Introduction
    • Qualifications
    • Values and Goals
    • Call to Action
    • Signature

6 Tips to Take for Tailoring your Interior Design Resume:

Tip 1: Compare Your Current Resume.

After understanding what this particular employee is looking for in a candidate, review your old resume to tailor it to their needs. Place your qualifications at the top of the document, followed by the summary and experience sections. Determine which previous roles are relevant and take out any that are not. Use reverse-chronological format if your most recent jobs are relevant. However, if your most relevant job experience is further back in work history, use functional or combination format for your resume.

Tip 2: Polish Your Summary.

Being one of the first sections to be seen by a recruiter, you will want to tailor your summary to their language. First, include the job title you are applying to, validating that this is a personalized resume. This section simply showcases your most relevant skill and experience based on keywords highlighted from the job description.

Tip 3: Customize Your Work History.

The hiring manager should immediately identify your relevant work experience to perform the tasks at hand. If you have a long work history, you may need to eliminate a few or split this section into two parts: Industry-specific and ‘other’ experience. The bulleted lists under your positions should be catered to the language used in the job description. This will be a foundation for the hiring manager regarding how much training is needed or how much you arrive with already.

Tip 4: Include Proven results.

The best way to get noticed by a recruiter is to include measurable results using quantifiable data in your experience section. Jot down several accomplishments and projects worked on that can be exemplified before starting your resume. With this list, determine where you can add them to demonstrate your impact on that company. This is an impressive talent to stand out, immediately presenting the value you add.

An example of this would be “developed a digital marketing campaign that increased monthly sales by 22%.” Versus” created successful marketing campaigns.”

Be more specific, and you will reap greater results.

Tip 5: Improve Your Skills Section.

Start by listing out all the skills required by the employer to succeed in that position. You may have already included several in your summary and work history, so add any remaining here. These should be relevant to the ones written in the job description and up to date with technological changes.

For example, if you are a graphic designer who learned Photoshop CS in 2003, it would not be appropriate nor necessary to list all versions you trained on, just the most recent.

The skills section should be as black and white and technical as possible.

Tip 6: Proofread Both Documents.

After completing the required documents, ensure you are correctly using the ’employer’s keywords and phrases. Then, compare your summary to the original job description and evaluate if they are the same.

Next, guarantee each bullet in your work history and skills is relevant to the job’s responsibilities and requirements. Finally, let a friend look over both along with the job description to provide any further feedback.

Read over the job description once or twice more before submitting it. It’s go time!

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