Author: Mike Scaletti
One of the most important things you can do when applying to jobs is match your resume to the job description of the position you are applying for. Doing this presents yourself as the perfect candidate for the role, aligning your skills and experience to exactly what it is your prospective employer is looking for. This can not only help you impress, but it can also help get you past those pesky automated resume screeners.
This is not new, information. In fact, we've given you similar advice in the past, however today we're going to take a bit of a deeper dive by giving you three specific, concrete examples of how to tailor your resume to the job you're applying to.
1. Figure Out What They Want
The first thing to do when it comes to customizing your resume is to figure out exactly what it is the employer is looking for in their next hire. In order to do that you'll need to scan the job posting you're applying for, paying special attention to any keywords or phrases similar to the skill sets you already possess. That will give you a more clear understanding of your suitability for any given position.
It's also worth checking for any other roles the same company may be currently recruiting for. This will give you an understanding of their workplace culture, and the attributes they value most in an employee. For example, if they have multiple postings that all describe "the ideal candidate" in similar terms, you know that this particular company highly values employees of that type, and that will give you a leg up in the application process.
2. Prioritize and Incorporate Your Skills
Making sure that you have all of the "required skills" from a particular job listing included in your resume is vitally important, however it's worth mentioning that you don't simply want to copy and paste those skills. Instead, use concrete examples of how you have utilized those skills in past positions, and how they have contributed to your success.
It's also worth paying attention to the particular order that companies list their job requirements. Often times employers will list the highest priority requirements first, so if, for example, the role you're applying for lists "attention to detail" as their first requirement, be sure to include several examples of how you were detail oriented in previous positions.
Often employers will use automated screening systems to screen out candidates that don't meet certain requirements, so if you are not listing the specific keywords they have used in their job description you may not even make it to the human screening process. As such, you need to make sure to prioritize the skills, experience, and keywords that the employer is looking for to have the best shot at getting your resume in front of a hiring manager.
3. Remove Unnecessary Filler
Remember that your resume should not be "one size fits all". When you are in the midst of a job search you should be applying to many different roles and positions. Each of those jobs is unique, and each deserves your time to ensure that you are presenting yourself as the best possible candidate for that position.
Unnecessary stuff, such as unrelated experience, skills that aren't transferable, and extraneous information should be left out. Try to keep your resume as focussed as possible to the task at hand.
Note: Removing all of the unrelated filler may end up making you realize that you are not, in fact, qualified for this position, or maybe just not a good fit for it. That's okay! There are many opportunities out there for those who are driven and focussed. Don't let yourself be bogged down by focussing on positions that aren't right for you. You'll only waste time and get frustrated that way.