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2 minute read

Customise Your Resume for Targeted Jobs by Using the Right Keywords

Use the Knowledge, Skills, Attributes (KSA) framework to make sure that your resume is optimised for employers to find your career highlights!


  • Know the different resume components and formats and apply them to your job search content
  • Understand employer’s requirements by analysing the job descriptions using the Knowledge, Skills, Attributes (KSA) framework
  • Learn and apply the three levels of customisation to your job search

You should always make sure that job descriptions, and roles and responsibilities you’ve included in your resume are optimised such that potential employers can easily discover them on job portals and your resume.

Here’s a quick guide below on how the KSA framework can help!

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What is the purpose of a resume?

Ultimately, a resume is a way for you to introduce yourself to an employer, and showcase your knowledge, skills, personal and professional attributes, and demonstrate that you’re the best fit for their job vacancy.

But what does it do for an employer, you ask? Resumes help them filter and shortlist through all the many applicants for their role, to select the best candidate, based on whom is also a good organisational fit for their company.

How a resume can help you get a job

Your resume is like a key to entry- the right one will unlock the right job. What it needs to do for you is:

  • Make it easy for the reader to find what they are looking for
  • List your relevant work experiences
  • Highlight concrete accomplishments
  • Showcase people skills or technical competencies through the use of keywords

What makes up a resume?

Here are some of the key facets of a good resume:

  • Header
  • Career summary
  • Relevant core competencies
  • Achievements
  • Professional experiences
  • Volunteer experiences
  • Education qualifications
  • Certifications
  • Professional membership

Choosing the right resume format matters

Here’s a quick guide on how to choose between different resume formats below.

What is a functional resume?

Functional resumes are recommended if:

  • You have been changing jobs in the past few years
  • You are re-entering the workforce after a few years
  • You are in the midst of a significant career switch
  • You have been working in the same company for a long period of time

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Different approaches to resume writing

Here are three different formats you can take to resume writing, and how they work.

  1. Content-based resumes focus on descriptive elements, and target matches via keywords and competencies.
  2. Visual-focused resumes focus on visual elements and attract interest via illustrations of your work and experience
  3. Portfolio resumes are aimed to showcase your work by representing them.

The 3 Levels of Resume customisation

How customised you want your resume to be depends on how many levels you delve into.

At the first level, you create several resumes for yourself based on the job roles you are targeting, ensuring that each of them has the required knowledge an skills in the targeted job function.

At a second level, you customise your resumes by keyword matching, targeting words that will attract the company’s human resource applicant tracking system.

At the final and third level, you rewrite the whole resume to match the job description/requirements of the particular job listing.

So what tools can you use to identify the right keywords for an applicant tracking system?

How you can analyse job postings using the KSA framework

Here’s how to extract keywords using the knowledge, skills and attributes (KSA) framework! We’ve underlined the various keywords to take note of from a sample job posting below:


  • Possess business systems knowledge for hybrid IT infrastructure, cloud, security, predictive analytics and ops
  • Have an understanding of software solutions implementation
  • Familiar with existing and emerging IT- digital transformations and business operations


  • Hands-on skills in Agile development testing, open source tools in Jenkins/Bambo/TeamCity/Jira/ Exclipse/Rally/Atlasian
  • Proficiency in technical sales and business solutions implementation
  • Plan and deliver PoCs


  • Strong interpersonal skills and initiatives
  • Conceptualising and project management skills
  • Analytical acumen and critical thinking skills

Looking for more tips on Resume Writing? Download a free copy of the Resume & Interview starter kit today!

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