Fashion stylists often claim that you’ll only get the best fit if you have your clothes tailored. This applies to resumes too, but many applicants aren’t sure what tailoring their resume involves. What should they change? What part of their resume should they focus on? It just sounds like a lot of work.
To avoid all that confusion, I’ll show you the exact steps you can take to tailor your resume for every job.
First of all, read the entire job advertisement. Don’t just skim through the requirements to find out where you can send a resume. Rushing to beat other job applicants by being the first to send your application is a waste of time. Who even knows if you’ll be the first applicant they get? It’s better to beat the competition with a well-written resume that speaks to the employer’s needs.
Read through the job requirements, the job scope, and even the background information listed about the company. Then look at your resume, and ask yourself the following questions:
- Can the recruiter immediately see the requirements listed for the job on my resume? If you’re not confident about this, you may need to rewrite parts of your resume to highlight your relevant skills.
- What is my resume missing? It’s impossible to tick every box in an employer’s wish list, but you can make up for it by thinking of transferable skills or experiences similar to what’s listed on the job advertisement.
Find the Keywords in the Job Advertisement
Keywords are the skills, education, and experience employers require for the job, so you’ll find these scattered throughout the job post. Read through the advertisement, highlighting the job-related skills, soft-skills, and transferable skill you find.
Focus on the job-related skills first. Do you have all the required job-related skills listed prominently in your resume? If you don’t have most of these it means you won’t be able to do the job well, and it might be better if you look for another role. If you do, make sure these skills are listed at the top third portion of your resume so the recruiter can quickly spot it.
Next, look for transferable skills and soft-skills. Do they want a team player, a problem-solver, or someone who can work with minimal supervision? Will the job require customer service skills or will you be working behind the scenes most of the time? Some of these won’t necessarily be job-related but they’re important because the company wants to hire someone who can work in a similar environment. Include these soft and transferable skills in relevant bullet-points within your resume’s work history section.
Add Numbers and Percentages to Your Keywords
Adding percentages or numbers to your keywords will draw the recruiter’s attention to them. It also makes your skills and experience sound more credible. For example, instead of just listing “customer service” in your work history, you should write “Decreased customer complaints by 15% through quick and friendly customer service.” That bullet point has a keyword, a percentage or number, and a result so it reads so much better than plain old “customer service.”
Tailor Your Resume, Be the Better Fit
Tailoring your resume to a job advertisement might take an extra 10 to 15 minutes of your time. But that extra time will be worth it because that effort is what’s going to help the recruiter realize that you’re a better fit for the job compared to the other applicants that sent in a generic application.