To overlook the power of tailoring your resume to each individual job is to ignore one of the greatest breakthroughs computers have given job searches. Let’s face it, anybody’s experience can be applied to many different jobs and industries. But without aiming that background at one specific job, you’re likely to get overlooked. Hiring professionals are spending less time than ever actually reading resumes. If these folks don’t very quickly see what they’re looking for, you’ll be tossed out of the stack without hesitation.
How to Customize Your Resume for Each Individual Job
Create the Basic Resume Material
Start building your targeted resume by first creating the basic raw material. This will be the foundation you’ll use to create all other versions. For this basic starting point, concentrate on the overall form, experience listings, dates, and education. Don’t bother with an Objective, Overview, or any other introductory matter that tends to vary from job to job. We’ll add that later. And don’t worry about polishing things up too much yet. You do, however, need to make sure dates, details, and facts are correct; after this you’re going to save this basic stock resume in several versions, so going back to fix a date or typo after this point means going into multiple files and fixing each one — a big waste of effort.
Modify Your Foundation Resume Material for Different Industries and Positions
If you’ll be pursuing several different positions in your job search, save your basic raw version into different variants for each type of job. And remember, you’re trying to focus and target as precisely as possible, so the different positions you’re seeking don’t have to be immensely different from each other to warrant their own version. For example, “Marketing Manager” and “Marketing Coordinator” have subtly different responsibilities in most companies, so you should create a different version for each. Then go to online job boards and look for positions with those titles. Find the exact responsibilities and experience most companies desire for each position. Tailor your resume versions to play your strengths as much as possible to these common denominators. Proofread and polish these different iterations as much as possible to avoid extra work later.
Customize The Basic Resumes For Each Specific Contact or Job Listing
Once you’ve got versions of your resume for each job title you’re planning to pursue, you’re ready to spring into action when you see positions you’re interested in. When you come across a job listing or a contact that’s appealing, pull up the version of your resume that best fits the job. Now look at the requirements listed. How much experience are they looking for? What are the responsibilities of the job? Modify the description of your experience so it fits the company’s priorities, terminology, and style without copying the listing directly. Then add a carefully targeted Objective, Summary, and other introductory parts. Keep customizing along these lines until you appear as perfect a fit for the job as your experience, skills, and education will truthfully allow.
With today’s digital technologies, it’s easier than ever to target your resume precisely to every job you pursue. But that also means it’s more expected of job seekers, with the methods detailed above now becoming the minimum requirements. So don’t stay stuck in the Bad Old Days — make yourself the perfect fit every time.