06 May 2014
Every job seeker has heard it before – you have to tailor your resume to each job you apply for, if you hope to get a call back. Regardless of your methods for job seeking, it’s important to adequately demonstrate your fit via your resume by paralleling the qualifications on your resume with the ones requested in the job posting. Today, as many employers use databases that allow them to search for relevant applications through keywords, making sure your resume matches the requirements of the listing can help it land in the right hands. Here’s how to customize every resume you send out: Make a core resume. If you’ve ever wondered who has enough time to feasibly tailor every single resume for each application they submit, you’re on to something. A core resume is a “cheat sheet” of sorts that essentially compiles every detail of your professional background for you to later draw from. It can help to give yourself time to freely jot down your entire professional backstory: where you work if you are employed, all the titles you’ve held in the past, the employers you worked for, your detailed experience, skills developed at each position, specialized knowledge you’re familiar with (such as specific computer programs), etc. You can decide what is and isn’t relevant later when you begin customizing your tailor-made resume. Do some critical thinking. Before you apply for a job, make it a priority to look over the job description, list of duties, and desired qualifications on the actual posting. By familiarizing yourself with the company’s wish list, you can note how your own qualifications and attributes stack up against what the organization is asking for. Assuming you’re a good fit for the role, don’t be afraid to play up your strengths, and downplay any of the desired qualifications you may be lacking. Research. Aside from analyzing the posting itself, do a quick search on the company and position in order to get a better idea of who your audience is, and the aspects you’ll want to emphasize on your resume. Getting to know your target employer is always a good idea, and can guide the way you write your resume and cover letter. Match, match, match. The best match for the job is the person the position will ultimately go to, and if you believe you’re a great match, do yourself a favor and show it. Make sure you remove irrelevant resume clutter, and build your content to match the qualities the job posting asks for. Incorporate relevant skills, experience, and credentials into your resume, while using keywords found in the job posting. However, it’s important to note that using too many keywords for the sake of keywords may look awkward to the hiring manager reviewing the resume, so use them tactfully. Label yourself. Finally, help the hiring manager out by creating a specific heading for your resume that includes the position you’re applying for and your full name. This will tie your application together and help you and them when it comes time to submit and evaluate your submission. Crafting a well-written, customized resume doesn’t have to be time-consuming. As long as you do your research and have a core resume to draw from, sending in an application that thoughtfully relates your credentials to those asked for in the job description can be accomplished with minimal effort, freeing up valuable time in which you can continue to dedicate yourself to your job search.