A customized resume shows employers that you're a good match for the job, which can get you hired faster. Did you know that tailoring a resume does not require a full re-write? Here's a quick run-down on what points on your resume need some tweaks, and what should stay the same.
One of the best ways to grab an employer's attention is by tailoring your resume to each position you apply to. After you create your great first resume, it can seem intimidating to change it for every job you’re applying to. However, customizing your resume to each job you apply to is so important if you want to show that you’re the right person for the job.
Here’s the scoop: Tailoring your resume doesn’t mean starting from scratch every time you apply to a job. There’s a ton of things you can keep the same, while also customizing other areas. Read on for a quick run-down on what points on your resume need some tweaks, and what should stay the same.
So, you definitely don’t need to chuck your whole resume every time you’re applying for a new job. Assuming you have formatted your resume with your contact info, key skills, prior work experience, education and additional experience – that all can stay.
There are other areas you’ll want to change. However, keep in mind as you are updating that you do not need to rewrite entire sections of your resume; often, it’s just a matter of replacing or adding specific details or descriptors. Here are a few items worth tweaking for each job you apply to.
At the top of your resume, always craft a quick elevator pitch that’s targeted towards the job you like that will grab attention. For example, something like, “Call center representative with 10 years’ experience, with a focus on customer service and IT,” will let the hiring manager know your expertise and experience.
After your objective, include a brief summary of your qualifications that you tailor for each potential role. If there are qualifications and responsibilities that you know are your strong points, get those in there!
Use the phrasing you see in the job listing so you get those keywords in there. The employers applicant tracking system will flag your resume for further consideration if it contains the words and phrases the system has been instructed to look for.
In every section of your resume, you want to highlight your skills and experiences that would be applicable to the potential new role.
Make sure you pay close attention to the terms used in the job description and use the same words to describe your past work. Again, this will help match keywords and it will make it easier for the hiring manager to relate your past experience to the open role.
Don’t overwhelm a hiring manager with information. For example, if you’re applying for a housekeeping job, don’t include past roles in retail, unless there are specific skills you learned that would apply to housekeeping – like keeping a schedule, or managing people.
For more resume and job readiness help, visit the Tips to get Hired Resource Center.