How to tailor your resume to the job and the business you are applying to

If you’re applying for a job, you’ve probably heard time and time again to tailor your resume for the position. But what does tailoring your resume really involve? How many changes should you be making? Below are a few ideas to get you started!

Read and understand the job that you are applying for

First, you need to read through the job description and highlight the points that seem important. These typically consist of things that are repeated several times throughout the job description and anything that seems out of the ordinary. Anything important to the job will also be items in the job description labeled as ‘must have’ and ‘highly preferred’. Items labeled as ‘desired’ are not as important to the job but if you have any of the skills labeled there, make sure they are highlighted. You should always sit down and highlight first because you cannot tailor your resume if you are unsure what you are applying to.

Put the most important thing first

After you highlight what the most important things the hiring manager is looking for, take your resume and find the experience(s) that is most relevant to the job. Next, rework the document so that these experiences are positioned first. This could either be a specific position, a specialized certification or a freelance position you once held.

Rework your bullet points

After you put the most important things at the top of your resume, you still need to re-work the rest of your resume. Make sure that your bullet points align with the job description.

From the job description, you’ll likely find more than just the technical qualifications needed to complete the job. Strong communication skills, ability to work in a team, and other soft skills are probably listed as well. So, while certain jobs may not be directly related to the position you’re interested in, you can and should definitely still highlight them if they contain some of the soft skills that are required.

When rewriting your resume, it is important to remember to try and use the same language that is used in the job description in terms of keywords. This is just in case the job seekers are using an automated program to weave out resumes. You don’t want your resume to get discarded!

Double check everything

The last thing you need to do if make sure your resume reads the way you want it to and to check for any grammar mistakes and typos. The best way to do this is to ask a friend if they can explain why you’re interested in the position just based on reading your resume. If your friend can’t explain why you’re applying or how you’re a good fit, then more tailoring is likely needed.

Save your resume

Imagine doing all of that work and then not saving it! The best way to save the new version is to create a sub-folder on your computer for each version of your resume. Depending on your situation, you might name these folders by company or type of job. Also, remember when you’re applying for a position to use a comprehensive file name since people other than you — such as hiring managers — will also see the file name.

If you are making a career change, then you can only do so much tweaking to your current resume. If this is the case, try adding an objective statement so you can explain your interest in the position and why you are applying.

Want more tips on the interview process? Check out some of my other articles:
12 Tips to Ensure a Positive Job Interview
Breaking Down Job Interview Tips- Tip 1: Research the Company
Breaking Down Job Interview Tips- Tip 2: Asking the Right Questions