Why A Tailored Resume is Crucial to The Job Search Process

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You have painstakingly crafted your resume to show all of your wonderful and marketable qualities in the most comprehensive way possible. You’ve checked for errors and completeness. You’re done! Right? Unfortunately, no. If you want to really help yourself stand apart from the pack for each and every position you apply for, resume preparation cannot be a one and done activity.

After posting a new job opportunity, especially for a desirable company or position, recruiters are quickly inundated with generic applications. Instead of blending into the background and letting the hiring manager figure out on their own whether or not you’re a good fit–show them that you are by drawing the shortest line possible between your experience and what’s required of the position! By customizing your resume for the specific company and position to which you’re applying, you’ll receive more responses and achieve greater success.

If you’re unsure how to do that, here are six tips to help you land your dream job:

  1. Start with a master resume that includes all of your work experience, certifications, and skills. You probably already have one so before applying to a new position, use the master resume to ask yourself if you’re using the language in the job description and if your resume clearly states that you are capable of all the required skills. If not – make a copy of the master resume to tailor it.
  1. Mention the job title. Recruiters often search for the job title and keywords while reviewing candidates. If you haven’t served in that specific position before, include the title in your summary.
  2. Mirror the language and keywords from the job description. Focus on the technical skills the recruiter is looking for that you already have. Even if the hiring manager is using Application Tracking System (ATS), those keywords alone could pull your resume to the top of the pile.
  3. Use bullet point. Some positions will attract more candidates than others. In a deep pool of applicants, hiring managers often skim through resumes in search of matching qualifications. Bullet points help the most important points stand out.
  4. Highlight your work experience in a way that makes sense. Show your skills in context. Explain how and why you’ve used a given skill in the past helps the recruiter see how it could be used in this new role. This is especially important for those seeking a career change in which skills may not obviously translate to the new industry.
  5. Prove that you’re a great fit for the job. Include quantitative language like dollar amounts and percentages to reflect your effectiveness in previous roles. Remove information that may distract from more important skills.

A generic resume will prove how great you are, but a tailored resume proves how great you are for the job. Be sure not to lie! Tailoring a resume should not be about hiding your shortcomings or falsifying information. Focus instead on highlighting your successes and making sure the hiring manager sees the qualities they’re looking for in you.

This article was written by E.C. Power.

E.C. Power is a freelance writer, avid coffee drinker, and compulsive list maker. She has a degree in Accounting and is now working on a Certificate in Novel Writing from Stanford University. She is currently working on her debut novel in New Jersey, where she lives with her family.

3 comments

  1. As an active, recently widowed 80 year old retiree, I need help condensing my lengthy accounting, bookkeeping/office manager and front desk receptionist resume.
    I moved to the Johnson City, Tennessee Tri-Cities area a couple of years ago and have been enjoying living in such a beautiful easygoing community.
    I’m seeking a rewarding part time position suited to an energetic, friendly and outgoing person.
    Any assistance you can provide will be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you.
    Paula Morris

  2. @Paula Nexxt offers a free resume critique service that is a great way to get started when updating/editing your existing resume. If after receiving the feedback from your critique there is also the opportunity to work with a professional writer. You can check out information on that service here: https://www.nexxt.com/resources/resume-writing

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