19 May 2016
We’ve all heard the advice that you should tailor your resume for each job you apply for, but it’s often easier said than done. While it sounds time consuming, it can make all the difference in whether your resume even catches a hiring manager’s attention. With hundreds of resumes to review for a single job posting, employers need to be able to discern if a resume is relevant within a few seconds of reviewing it. In cases where there isn’t enough bandwidth to pre-screen every applicant, they may even rely on software to find qualified candidates for them. Therefore, if you haven’t edited the document to reflect that specific position, it’s less likely that your resume will be found among the stack. However, there are simple methods that can take a comprehensive resume and elevate the content to highlight your most relevant qualifications, and ultimately bring your application to the attention of the hiring manager. Here are four easy ways to do this: Create a Master Resume Create one resume that lists all of your work experience, skills, and accomplishments to use as a template. Once you find an opportunity that interests you, your master resume can help you quickly identify what information is most relevant to the position and company at hand. For example, you may want to highlight a past position or specific certification by adding more details or you may want to cut your resume down by removing something that is not relevant to the role. Research the Company A job description usually doesn’t paint a complete picture of the company, so make the effort to conduct some additional research on the organization when editing your resume. By researching the company, you can find out more about the culture and what kind of person is successful at the organization. Doing this supplemental research can help you determine which soft skills to highlight (teamwork, leadership, innovative thinking), which will certainly give you an edge over your competition. Include Keywords With hundreds of resumes to sift through, employers often rely on software to find qualified candidates based on keywords. In order to make sure your resume lands on the hiring manager’s desk, pick out key action words and industry terms from the job description. Think about how you can use these words to describe your experience and qualifications, and change the phrasing to reflect that. Additionally, highlight any special skills or certifications that are asked of the applicant by listing them in order of importance based on the description. However, be wary of “keyword stuffing” by making sure that your additions make sense. Your resume should still read like one comprehensive document. Rename the File Not only is this good for keeping yourself organized, it’s excellent for the hiring manager as well. Since they often receive several files all titled “Resume,” add your name or initials, as well as the company name and job title to the file name to ensure that your resume doesn’t get lost. By doing so, you’ve not only shown the employer that you’re detail-oriented, but that you’ve also taken the time to tailor your resume for them.