How To Tailor Your Resume to the Job Description

woman applying for job

How many times have you applied for a job only to be met with dead silence? How often have you frantically refreshed your email waiting for a reply that doesn’t come? The job search process can be a difficult and frustrating one.

When applying for a job, it’s important to have a professional, well-written resume that is sure to stand out to hiring managers. The way to capture the interest of your future employer is through a targeted resume. What is a targeted resume? It’s simple. Targeted resumes are tailored to the specific job you are applying for. They are written to highlight the skills, experiences, and achievements that are most relevant to that particular position.

If you submit your basic, standard resume to each and every job opening you apply for, chances are you won’t even hear back for an interview. Hiring managers are looking for very specific things in your resume and want to see how you’re the right fit for this job opening in particular. They need to see experience and skills that directly correlate to the ones needed for the specific role they are hiring for. If your resume isn’t tailored to the position you’re applying for, you aren’t giving yourself the best possible shot at landing the job.

In our previous blog, we explained the importance of hiring a professional resume writing company. When you partner with Capstone Resume Services on your resume, you’re getting a professional resume that is customized to you and tells the complete story of your work history, skills, and accomplishments. While the resumes we write are tailored to you, they aren’t tailored to a specific position. Before you submit your resume, you’ll need to tweak it to ensure you’re giving the hiring manager what they are looking for.

What to Tweak In Your Resume

So, where do you start? With the job description of course! Read it thoroughly several times and take notes on the key requirements and necessary credentials. Make note of what responsibilities and skills are mentioned first. Those are the ones you should focus on. Then, go through your resume and tweak your experiences and skills to speak to those requirements. Remove any skills that aren’t relevant for the position and only include those that are listed. Also be sure your skills list starts with the skills the recruiter will be most interested in. It’s also important to research the company to get a feel for their brand and culture.

Many hiring managers look at your employment history to determine if you are qualified for the position. Be sure to edit and tweak your employment experience to clearly show you have the necessary qualifications. Don’t lie or rework the truth, but be sure to describe your experiences in a way that highlights the tasks and achievements that most closely match with the job you’re applying for.

Make sure all relevant qualifications are at the top of your experience section so that they stand out. Identify the things in your resume a recruiter would be most interested in and make sure they are at the top of your resume. After all, the average recruiter only looks at a resume for 6 seconds. You need to make the most of that limited time! And, don’t worry if it’s not the most recent experience you’ve had. In order to effectively tailor your resume, you must identify what is the most important for this particular job and push that in the most effective way possible.

You’ll also want to pay close attention to the keywords included in the job description. If these same keywords aren’t in your resume, chances are you won’t be flagged as a potential candidate by the applicant tracking system. Be sure to sprinkle them throughout your resume.

The last step? Proofread! You’ll want to read over your resume carefully to check for errors. The more changes you make, the more opportunities for typos arise. Hiring managers likely won’t continue reading if they spot a typo.

Another good way to check that your resume is effectively tailored to the position you’re applying for is to have a friend or family member read it over to see if they can clearly see why you’re applying for the job just from reading the resume.

Resume Tailoring Checklist:

So, to recap, here’s a checklist of items to look at when tailoring your resume:

  • Read the job description and take notes
  • Research the company
  • Tweak your experiences and skills to match the job requirements
  • Make sure the most relevant information is at the top of your resume
  • Be sure you are using keywords found in the job description in your resume
  • Proofread for typos and errors
  • Have someone read it over to ensure the value you’d add to both the position and company is clear

Now that your resume is tailored to the job you’re applying for, you’ll want to add a tailored cover letter to accompany your resume. The skills and experience that best match the job requirements should be highlighted in your cover letter. This is your opportunity to tell the hiring manager why you’re the right fit for the job and why they should read your resume.

If your job search has stalled and you haven’t had an interview in a while, it may be time to start tailoring your resume. Submitting a resume that is tailored to the job description and job you’re applying for will only help your chances of landing the job – or at least an interview. So, what are you waiting for? Start tailoring!