Ever wondered why you never landed an interview for any of the jobs you’ve applied for during the past two months? Well, according to one study, recruiters spend just six seconds scanning your resume before deciding whether you are fit for the position or not. In other words, you only have six seconds to impress.
Wow. That’s a toughie.
Today’s job market certainly doesn’t make it easy on applicants. Whether you have experience or are new to the workforce, finding a job is certainly no easy feat. On average, there are 110 applicants for every position posted. The competition is brutal, and you need to differentiate yourself if you want to stand out from all the applicants.
But, how can you prove that you are the right fit when recruiters spend only six seconds reviewing a resume?
Fortunately, there is a solution. You need to tailor your resume to the specific jobs you are applying for.
Think about it this way: no two jobs are alike, so the way you present yourself on paper must differ from one job application to another. You must take into consideration not only the job description but also the company’s profile and its values.
It might sound complicated and time-consuming, but there are a few universal rules that you can apply to make your resume, job specific.
The Importance of Making Your Resume Job Specific
Before we dive into explaining how to customize your resume, let’s take a closer look at why this practice could increase your chances of finding your dream job.
It could be argued that the purpose of a resume is to highlight how your hardworking attitude and commitment would make you a suitable option for the company. But you must bear in mind that it is about the company as well. They are the ones that could potentially welcome you in their organization, and they need to make sure you are the right fit. When becoming part of a company you also become their ambassador, meaning that you will have to adapt to their ethical conduct and reflect their values and cultures.
Branding and reputation are immensely important nowadays as they can make or break a company. So, employers are particularly keen on the topic. That is why, when considering a possible candidate, a resume that is customized to reflect the particular needs of a company would highly increase your chances of getting more job interviews.
How to Tailor Your Resume
Here are some tips that will help you rock your resume and get more interviews
Do Your Research
The first thing you need to do to create an outstanding resume is to research not only the position you are applying for but also the company. Take your time to read the job description and ensure that you’ve understood their requirements and expectations. Go through each point and highlight the most important ones as well as those that are relevant to your skills and experience.
Get to know your potential employer and try to understand what they are looking for in an employee, the company’s values, corporate culture, and so on. Maybe you are interested in their job opening, but if you don’t identify yourself with the company’s style and culture, it would be better to continue your hunt.
Match Your Skills
You’ve researched the job and the company and decided that they are a great fit. Now, it’s time to tailor your resume so that it gets the attention of the recruiters. Start by removing information from your resume that might not be relevant to the position. For example, your first job in high school as a hostess might not be applicable to the astrophysicist position you’re applying to – unless, there’s some great way you can think of that ties those skill sets together.
You want to fill this space instead with relevant positions, projects and certifications you’ve received. It’s also better to provide a robust professional profile and core competencies section that can help you get past applicant tracking systems than it is to waste space on one of those non-relevant high school or college positions – again, if they truly aren’t relevant.
Make Your First Point the Most Relevant One
Once you are fully aware of the company’s requirements, you need to identify the experience that would make the recruiter the most excited about your application. Rework the resume so that this information stays at the top of the document. It may be your current position, a freelance gig or specialized certification. Whatever it is, make it the first point of your resume. As much as possible, you do want to keep your resume in a chronological order as this is how applicant tracking systems will read your background, but if you’re able to highlight a relevant recent project that is ideal.
Another great way to tailor your resume to each position is by editing your professional profile and core competencies sections. This will not only help you get thru the ATS system but will also be the first thing the hiring manager sees when they glance over your resume. If you’re able to make this section and your first couple positions in your experience section job specific and relevant you’ll be in pretty good shape.
Write for Both Humans and Robots
If you’re applying for a job digitally, the chances are that the first eye that will analyze your resume won’t be human. So, make sure to include keywords that would ensure your resume finds itself in the pile that will actually be reviewed by a human. Even if you dislike corporate lingo, include words that are relevant to your industry.
For example, if the job is for a “graphics designer that can work in Maya and Zbrush,” make sure to include the keywords “graphic designer,” “Maya,” and “Zbrush” somewhere in the resume.
Tweak the Bullet Points even for Less Relevant Experiences
Now that you’ve identified your most relevant experiences and highlighted them as much as possible, that doesn’t mean you should ignore everything else. Try to see if there aren’t any relevant skills from past jobs and volunteer work that you can include in your resume and tweak these corresponding bullet points as necessary.
Proofread the Document
This tip should be a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised to discover how many applicants send resumes without proofreading them. There’s nothing that annoys a hiring manager more than a spelling error or grammar mistake as it shows that you didn’t take those few extra minutes of care, meaning you probably don’t care very much about the position.
So, read the document carefully after writing it. We recommend reading it out loud and then having a few others read it as well.
Typos and spelling mistakes can happen, but they don’t need to prevent you from landing your dream job.
Customizing your resume isn’t the most exciting part of applying for a job, but it certainly is one of the most important ones. After all, this simple document can influence the decision-making process of a recruiter. By including experiences that are relevant to the job and tailoring the resume to meet the expectations of the company, you increase your chances of getting an interview. So, it’s worth walking the extra mile to create a memorable resume.
Tailoring Your Resume to Every Job is Tedious but Necessary
Resume Yeti allows you to build and save as many resumes as needed so you’re able to tailor your resume to every job!