One of the biggest mistakes that prospective candidates make in a job search is making their resume too generic. Whilst a scatter gun approach can seem more time-efficient you’ll see very few results, despite applying for so many jobs. This can be greatly demoralizing and there’s a very simple solution to avoiding this: You need to tailor your resume for the job you’re applying for.
Adjusting your resume for each job may reduce the quantity of applications you send out. However, the quality of your document and the subsequent responses will be much better. In the following guide, we’ll explain how to tailor your resume and how to match your resume to any job you want expertly and professionally. You’ll learn all the best ways to get surgical with the information you include on the page and start getting more interviews. Let’s get started.
Why it’s Important to Make a Resume for a Specific Job
Quite simply, recruiters want to see the criteria they’re advertising for fulfilled. In many ways, the process of hiring new staff is an exercise in ticking boxes. The more boxes you can tick, the more chance you’ll get of being considered for the role on offer. In most cases, the recruiters will be asking themselves the following questions:
Tailored resume examples zero in on exactly the traits and skills that the recruiter will be hoping to see on every document, although realistically they will only see on around 10-20% of applications. This method also helps you focus more on how to match your resume to the job you want. Remember, online resume generator tools can make this process a lot simpler and allow you to make small tweaks to your stylized template quickly with almost no fuss.
Research the Values of the Company
When you tailor your resume consider the brand and company values of the business you’re going to be targeting. In many cases, companies will explicitly state this in the job description, or the company will have clear brand values, that you can use to guide your application. Sometimes this requires a little research, although the rewards are well worth it. Naturally, the hiring manager will always want to see that you’re a good fit with the company culture, so emphasizing that you will bring something positive to this environment will increase your chances of making the shortlist.
Get Forensic with the Job Description
Think of the job description as a crib sheet for what to include on your resume. Recruiters will leave hints all over the posting that you can easily leverage and use to tweak and optimize your resume. On the description you’ll be able to find:
- What skills are expected
- What experience they want to see
- The values they hold in the company
- Keywords you can use
- A little information about the type of personality they’re looking for
- The urgency in filling the opening (If you’re looking for a job fast, this is something to target)
Give Clear Evidence of your Suitability
Once you’ve done your research properly it’s time to fit your experience and skills around the requirements of the job description properly. A resume is best kept short, to just one letter page. Therefore scrap any extraneous information that doesn’t fulfill what the job description asks for.
Don’t mention previous jobs that have no relevance to the position you’re targetting. Unless, of course, there are transferable abilities or experience that will support your application. Naturally, there is some flexibility with this.
It is, however, ok to use a little guesswork with this. Not all job descriptions will be perfectly detailed, some may be more limited in the requirements stated. It might sometimes be possible to read-between-the-lines with the traits you could add and that haven’t been included in the advert. This will not only give the reader more to work with, but it’ll also accurately demonstrate your expertise and knowledge of your industry.
Be Careful With Your Keywords
When tailoring your resume for a single job the keywords you use matter more than ever. Catching the recruiters eye is much easier with industry-specific phrases and vocabulary. It could make the difference between whether your resume is read by a human recruiter or not. This is due to the fact most companies use applicant tracking software to filter out documents that don’t show much promise.
Once again, the job advert can come to your aid and show you a few important words that recruiters will be looking out for. This could also help you potentially understand what the ATS filter is looking for; remember recruiters will probably use the job advert in some part to calibrate the software. However, as always the more specific expertise and familiarity you can show off in your resume the better. Using focused vocabulary will help achieve that.
It may feel like hard work tailoring each individual resume specifically but it’s the best way to get results more often than not. Don’t be afraid to get in-depth with your research and remember you can cut some of the difficulty by using a resume builder to make the tweaks and changes necessary to really impress the recruiter with a specifically targeted resume. Getting the job may just rely on it.