Did you know that 40 percent of hiring managers spend less than a minute reviewing a resume? If you’ve spent a lot of time perfecting your resume, this statistic can be disheartening. So, how do you make sure your resume gets more than just a quick glance-over? In order to make your resume stand out, one of the most important things to do is to tailor it to the job you’re seeking. Check out this guide to discover eight ways to tailor your resume for the job you’re seeking.
Identify What’s Most Important to the Organization
When tailoring a resume to the job you’re seeking, the first thing you want to do is identify what’s most important to the company which you’re applying for. To figure out their top priorities, thoroughly read their job description and then mirror their needs in your resume.
Here are some things to look for when identifying a company’s most important needs:
- What responsibilities do they mention first? What things are mentioned later on that might be less important?
- Are there any themes throughout the job posting? (i.e., multitasking, leadership, organization)
- What specific qualifications or requirements do they list?
Match the Content of Your Resume With the Job Description
Now that you understand what the company wants, take a look at the resume you’re creating through RESUMEBUILD. Whether you’re looking to create a student resume, professional resume, or entry-level resume, this service has what you need.
To tailor your resume to the job description, start by matching the most important things on the job posting with the most visible parts of your resume. To do this, make the first few bullet points under each of your previous jobs as relevant as possible. Oftentimes, recruiters and hiring managers look at your employment history before they look at anything else, so it’s important to tailor these areas as much as possible. If this is your first job, you can tailor your education and other experiences (i.e., volunteering, projects) to the job description. If you have a summary or objective section in your resume, be sure to tailor that as well.
Rearrange As Necessary
To make sure your resume is tailored to the job you’re seeking, you’re going to need to do some reordering, adding, and removing. Hiring managers pay stringent attention to your resume template, design, and format. Go through every bullet point on your resume and rearrange so that the most relevant bullet point is listed first and the least relevant one is listed at the end. After rearranging, see if there are any bullet points you can add to any of your job descriptions.
Lastly, make sure you delete anything that isn’t at all relevant. Let’s say you’re applying for a job in communications, but your last job was as a teacher. While you should highlight how you had to master communicating with all types of people in your last job (i.e., students, other teachers, administrators), you probably don’t need to mention your skills in regards to grading homework.
Also, don’t be afraid to reorder entire sections of your resume. Generally, you should list your experience before your education. However, there are cases where hiring managers care more about education than experience. If this is the case, list your education first.
Mirror Their Language
Hiring managers don’t just want to see that your experience matches what they’re looking for, they also want to see that you’ll fit in with the company. When it comes to matching keywords, start with the job title. A recruiter will start by searching for people who have done the job before, so find a place in your resume for it. If you haven’t actually done the job before, find a way to mention it in your summary section.
Provide Compelling Evidence
When tailoring your resume, you need to make sure you back up your claims with actual evidence. Let’s say the job you’re applying for emphasizes that they’re looking for someone who is great at multi-tasking. Instead of writing “excellent multitasker” as a bullet point, elaborate as to how you’re a great multitasker. For example, you could say, “managed 4 to 5 projects simultaneously while frequently making schedule adjustments as new projects were initiated”.
Hook Them Right Away
Because recruiters only have so much time to spend on a resume, it’s important that you try to hook them as soon as possible. The best way to do this is to make your summary as relevant to the job description as possible. The summary is where you’ll want to make sure you match the job posting’s tone and language and include the job title. After the summary, order your resume so that the most relevant experience is listed first, even if this means ordering your experience in a non-chronological order.
Have Someone Look Over It
Once you’ve tailored your resume, it’s very important that you have a fresh pair of eyes look over it before sending it in. You can either hire a professional resume service to look over it, or ask a co-worker, family member, or friend. If the person looking over your resume can’t suss out why you’re a good fit or why you’re applying for this specific job, then more tailoring is needed.
Don’t Forget About the Cover Letter
Last but not least, don’t forget to write a cover letter as well. A tailored resume means nothing if you send it in with a generic cover letter. For creating a tailored cover letter, you’ll pretty much want to apply the same techniques as you do when creating the resume. Mirror the company’s language as best as possible, focus on highlighting your relevant experience first, and elaborate on the examples you mentioned in your resume.
Now that you know how to tailor your resume, it’s time to get started on creating your own!