Are you sending the exact same resume to every employer? If so, stop. It’s important to recognize that every employer is different. They have different values, different hiring goals, and different expectations. If you want to give your resume the attention it needs, it’s important to customize it for each job.
This may sound like a lot of extra, unnecessary work, but it’s not. You don’t have to write a brand-new resume for each new employer. You just need to tweak your resume a little bit to match the objectives of each employer. This process doesn’t take long if you know what you are doing, yet it can increase the likelihood that your resume attracts the attention of prospective employers.
1. Analyze the Job Posting
The first step to tailoring your resume is to analyze the job posting carefully. Take an honest inventory and jot down a list of hard and soft skills and job requirements that match your unique skillset. The goal is to get an overall picture of what the position entails and what skills are needed to complete the job. This step will help you focus on what attributes you can bring to the job.
2. Adjust Objective
Some candidates prefer to omit the Objective section from the resume, but if you do include it then you should customize it for each job. Your objective should not a broad statement detailing your overall career goals. Instead, it should focus on what attributes you can bring to the job. You don’t have to change the entire section of each resume, just replacing a few words to match the job you are applying for will be enough.
3. Update Work History
Certainly, you can’t change your work history, but you can update each job summary if necessary. Read over the job summary for each employer listed on your resume to make sure you have highlighted the best points for this job. If you have work experience that is pertinent to the position you are applying for, but this experience is not highlighted in the job summary, you can make minor changes to showcase this information. Also, be sure to add any relevant awards or accomplishments to your resume.
4. Highlight the Right Skills
This is one of the most critical aspects of your resume to customize. You want to make sure you are highlighting the right skills to the right employer. Take a look at the list of skills and experience from step one and make sure the majority of these attributes are highlighted somewhere on your resume. Be sure only to list those attributes that match your unique skillset. The last thing you want to do on your resume is to over embellish about your skills.
5. Include the Relevant Keywords
With more and more employers using ATS (Application Tracking Software) platforms to sift through applications, it’s crucial that you include relevant keywords in your resume. A quick Google search can provide a wealth of information about identifying keywords in your specific industry. For example, if you are in the sales sector, common keywords include communication, motivation, closing, leads, CRM, teams, sales, goals, and driven. Determine which of these prime keywords are also listed on the job posting. These are the relevant keywords you want to make sure are on your resume.
6. Be Specific
Avoid generalities when it comes to your strongest attributes. For example, don’t just state that you have customers service skills. Instead, try to be more specific with a statement like “oversaw a customer service initiative that improved call resolution rates by 30%.” Using statements like this can help you outshine other candidates. Be sure to use accomplishments and awards that best match the employer’s job requirements.
7. Customize Cover Letter
Taking these steps will not only help you customize your resume, but you can use this data to personalize each cover letter too. Adding a personal touch to each cover letter you write may be the extra step you need to grab the prospective employer’s attention and to highlight why you would be a good fit for the company.
Once you customize your resume by making minor changes, be sure to proofread it several times before submitting it. You should also keep a copy of your resume to refer to before the interview process. For help creating a customized resume and cover letter that speaks directly to the employer, contact GoResumes today.