You may already think that your resume has been perfected; however, when applying for jobs, customizing your resume for each position could be a determining factor in whether you are offered an interview. Catering your resume to a specific job and organization will set your resume apart from the masses of other applicants. If you tweak these five simple aspects of your resume, your chances of landing an interview will be greatly improved!
Reviewing the Position Description
The first, and most crucial, step is reviewing the position description. This is extremely important to not only determine if the position is truly one in which you are interested, but also to recognize the position’s required responsibilities, skills, and education. Once you have scanned the description, try to deduce which qualifications and responsibilities in the job posting are most critical. Incorporating the organization or company’s most desired qualifications into your resume will help you differentiate yourself from the rest of the applicant pool. However, it is important to note that you should not simply create a carbon copy of the job description and qualifications because this will cause your resume to seem disingenuous. Reviewing the job description will help you get a better understanding of what you will be doing if hired, as well as make yourself a better applicant.
Updating Your Skills
The second step in catering your resume is updating your skills. After reviewing the desired skills in the job description, you should determine which of those skills align with your own. Again, this is not an opportunity to lie or exaggerate about your skills, but instead a way to ensure that the organization or company is aware that you possess the skills they are searching for in applicants. This does not mean that you cannot mention skills that are not listed in the job posting, but you should order your skills by relevance to the position in which you are applying. For example, if you are applying for a job that requires a lot of collaborative work, be sure to mention your people skills and ability to work in a team environment. Updating the order of your skills will help whoever is reading your resume better understand your ability to be an asset to their company or organization.
The third step in tailoring your resume is including keywords in the job description. Some organizations and companies that attract many applicants use a program that searches for keywords to narrow the applicant pool. This may include desired skills, responsibilities, or education level. To ensure that you are not immediately disregarded from the position, review the job description, identifying words that seem to be repeated or heavily emphasized. These keywords will most likely be the ones that the company is using in their software application. Even if the position attracts a small applicant pool, including keywords that the selection committees focus on, whether intentionally or not, will increase your chances of being extended an interview offer.
Catering Your Past Experiences
The fourth step when customizing your resume is to properly frame your past experiences. In congruence with your skills section, you should organize your past work experience in order of importance. For example, if you are applying to work as an intern in a hospital, you should list your past experience shadowing a doctor before a job working in a grocery store. However, do not let this discourage you from including work that may not directly align with your desired position. Regardless of similarity to the position for which you are applying, careful descriptions of past work experiences can highlight the important skills that you have gained. Catering your past work experience in order of relevance will help you stand out, especially when the people reviewing your application have gone through many other similar resumes.
Researching the Organization or Company
The fifth, and final, step is researching the organization or company. Take some time to explore the organization or company’s online presence to determine their core missions and values. It is paramount that their ethical values align with your own to make sure that you are not working for an organization or company that will put you in a difficult ethical dilemma in the future. After researching your desired place of work, establish which mission statements or values you most agree with and incorporate them into your resume. Doing this will demonstrate your commitment to the organization or company and draw attention to your resume.