How to Customize Your Resume

Do you submit the same resume to every job you apply for?

If you are wondering why you aren’t getting calls back for positions you know you would be a perfect fit for, it could be because your generic resume isn’t even making it to the hiring manager. Many large corporations utilize an Applicant Tracking System, which is programmed to filter out resumes that don’t have certain keywords or phrases set for that specific position. If you want your resume to get noticed, or seen at all, it’s essential that you take the time to customize each resume to mimic the company’s job description as much as possible. If you are unsure of what that entails, below are 5 great tips to modify your resume for the exact position you are applying for.

  1. If you still have an objective statement on your resume, include the company name and the position you are applying for in the statement. As this is usually the first section on a resume, the employer will see that you put in the extra effort right away.
  2. Read the job description of the position you are applying for thoroughly. Print it out and mark it up if needed. Make note of all of their “must haves” and pick out keywords in the description that correspond with your skills. If the job description says that they are looking for someone who is detail-oriented, but your resume mentions that you are accurate with an eye for detail, change your wording to match theirs. Small changes like this will make you appear more qualified. Look for keywords that are used more than once and words that are unique to that position. Try to find a way to incorporate those into your resume.
  3. Move sections or positions around on your resume in an order that makes most sense for the specific position. If your most recent job doesn’t relate to the position you are applying for, you won’t want this to be the first piece of info they see. To solve this, make a related experience section so your most relevant role is what they will see first. If you have a required certification they are asking for, move it up above your work experience.
  4. This goes for bullets as well! Rank your duties in order of importance for the specific role you are applying for. Your most remarkable sales accomplishment probably won’t impress a law firm you are applying to. For some positions, this might be your top bullet, but it might not be relevant at all to others.
  5. Unfortunately, there will be vague, short or poorly written job descriptions. If this is the case, look for professionals on LinkedIn with the same job title. Observe what keywords they are using and make an effort to incorporate them into your resume before applying.

Customizing your resume for every position you apply to is time consuming, yet necessary in the job search process. The extra effort is what gets job seekers interviews, followed by a fulfilling new job.