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How to Tailor Your Resume to Get an Interview

Published: Jan 05, 2017
How to Tailor Your Resume to Get an Interview

In today’s world everything is customized. This includes your resume when applying for jobs. You can be strategic about landing your dream job and tailor your resume for every job you apply to. Let’s take a look at when it’s necessary to tailor your resume for a role, plus some actionable tips to present the best version of yourself.


If You Are Especially Interested In a Company

If a company or role especially piques your interest, it is worth spending a bit more time to tweak your resume, and it’s also worth writing a cover letter. Your targeting will pay off by helping your resume stand out to the recruiter or hiring manager.

Applying to Different Roles Within Your Career Field

Tailoring your resume is especially necessary if you are applying for roles that require slightly different skills within the same field. For example, if you apply for positions as a marketing writer or content marketer, as opposed to, say, social media manager, using the same resume points to apply for both does not allow you to showcase the best of your skills or how your past experience prepared you for that specific role. You may be qualified for the position, but the recruiter or hiring manager wouldn’t know this looking at your resume because you didn’t include your most relevant accomplishments. Even if you are in a hurry to apply, it is still worth taking another look at your resume bullet points for any quick phrasing changes that could help your resume stand out. This is especially true when applying to large companies, many of which use a program to screen resumes before they reach an individual’s eyes. In this scenario, choosing the right words is the key to your resume passing through to reach a recruiter or hiring manager.

Always ‘“Tailor’” Your Resume

The real answer to this question is – always. If you send off a generic resume, you significantly lower your chance of response and chance of an invitation for an interview. While you can reuse some of the same bullet points for multiple positions, you should always review the position requirements beforehand. So, technically, each resume is considered tailored since you’ve consulted the position description and given some thought to the best points you can make to present yourself as an attractive candidate.


Prepare Your Resume Bullets Before Your Job Search

Devise a list of resume bullet points and accomplishments. This will save time. Creating a concise, meaningful resume bullet is a thought-provoking exercise that should not be rushed. Designating the time to write, review and revise these bullet points will ensure they are well-written and full of meaning. Also, it will save you from the egregious application sin of typos on your resume. By completing this step first, it will be easy to tailor your resume for each position because you can simply switch out your prepared bullets instead of writing them as you go.

Read the Job Qualifications, Responsibilities and Skills

To tailor your resume for a role, you must read the position description and understand who the company considers an outstanding candidate. Since you already have prepared your list of bullet points, you can now switch them depending on what the role requires. You can also easily tweak your resume bullet points, exchanging one word with another and using specific words the company includes in its post and listed responsibilities.

Include Specifics In Your Resume

What have you accomplished in your past that showcases your potential to execute the responsibilities of the position? The more specific you are about any numeric results, like how your campaign added $10,000 worth of revenue to the organization, the better. After reading the position requirements choose a few requirements or skills to target with each resume bullet. If you have numbers or data results that showcase your accomplishments, include one in each resume bullet point.

Sell Yourself

After reading the job post you can expertly profile and present yourself to meet the company’s listed demands. Choose the resume bullet points that help you best sell yourself. Consider each company and individual recruiter or hiring manager as someone you’re persuading. You aren’t just sending your resume off into cyberspace; you’re convincing an individual why you are the best pick for the job. What are the points that are most relevant and compelling in persuading a recruiter or hiring manager that you are the best choice for the role? Luckily, you only have to be convincing enough that the company decides to call you about an interview. Now is also a great time to explore your personal brand and reflect on the value you could bring an organization. And if you score an interview you’ll already be prepared to expand on your strong suits.

Avoid This One Typical Mistake

DO NOT label the different versions of your resume documents with obvious designations, like Resume Version A or Resume 2, because the company will see it on your document. Be a little more subtle with your labeling. Also, ensure your resume is compatible with the company’s application process so the recruiter or hiring manager are able to open the document.