When it comes to landing your ideal job, your resume needs to look the part. When looking to fill a position, employers and hiring managers look for specifics areas of experience in potential candidates. This is just one of the many reasons why you should never send the same resume out to dozens of different companies. Instead, your resume should reflect the skills that pertain to the specific job you’re applying for. It’s important to customize your resume and cover letter for each and every job opportunity. A few small tweaks can go a long way in helping your application stand out. But just how exactly can you “customize” your past experience? Take a look at these helpful tips for creating a customized resume.
1. Use Keywords Listed in the Job Description
A job description is a helpful tool in the application process that often gets overlooked. Carefully comb through the description listed on the job posting and use it to your advantage. You’ll see lists of items such as duties and responsibilities, necessary experience, and preferred experience. Look at the specific words or phrases used by the employer. Many times, the same words are often repeated throughout the job description. Customize your resume by working those same keywords into your job experience. This will not only help you pass a computerized resume screening, but it can also help signify a culture fit for the employer, early on.
2. Remove Irrelevant Job Experience
Employers only want to see relevant job experience on an applicant’s resume. Delete irrelevant job experiences and replace them with something that directly relates to the job that you’re applying for. If your resume suddenly looks bare, try teasing out tiny aspects of your previous jobs to make it more relevant to the job at hand. In addition, if past volunteer experiences or internships seems to pertain more to the position you’re applying for, don’t be afraid to include them. Relevance is key.
3. Look at the Company’s Website
Browsing through a company’s website is a great way to find out what type of qualities they’re looking for in an employee. Get a sense of the tone the company uses to describe itself and look for more keywords in the company’s mission statement. Matching styles will only increase your odds of landing the job. Try to use similar phrases and tones to describe yourself, but in a way that’s personal to your unique experience. You can also use a similar language in the job interview, showing your potential employer that you’ve done your research.
4. Re-order Your Skills Based on the Job Requirements
Employers have thousands of resumes to get through when they start the hiring process. They’re usually skimming more often than reading. That’s why it’s important to list your most relevant skills for each previous job to make sure that you get their attention. Again, use specific keywords from the job description to figure out which skills would be most relevant to the job and highlight those skills in your customized resume. Also, think about an employer’s priorities when selecting a candidate. Quickly reordering your skills can make all the difference as an employer races through your resume.