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When it comes to applying for jobs, sending out the same generic resume to every single employer will get you no where.

Different roles require different skills and experience, meaning what’s valued for one job may not necessarily be valued for another; so it’s important that you tailor your resume so that it highlights the most relevant information when applying for the job.

If you have the perfect experience for a particular role, but it’s hiding at the bottom of your resume, or even missed off all together, your application is likely to get overlooked. Employers want to know what you can do for them and how your experience will benefit you in that specific role. So by accentuating your most relevant qualities, you boost your chance of getting noticed and invited for an interview.

This doesn’t mean that you need to write your resume from scratch each time you apply for a job. You can keep your basic resume as an outline and then make the required alterations, so that it is tailored for particular job requirements. Here are a few simple ways you can do this.

1) Put together a core resume

Create a basic outline for your resume, including every skill/experience from your career and background. Break it down into categories including work history, education, training, skills, etc. It doesn’t matter how long it is, as you will use this to pull the relevant information from when putting together a customised resume.

2) Read the job description thoroughly

Read the job description a few times until you are certain that you understand the requirements of the job and haven’t missed anything important. Once you know what the hiring manger is looking for in a candidate, you can then tailor your resume to highlight the qualities that they are asking for in your own experience.

3) Make a list of your relevant experience and accomplishments

While reading the job description make a list of all of your relevant attributes, matching up all the requirements they ask for in the job description with your personal experience and skill-set. For each point that they ask for, try to link it to your own achievements. The experiences don’t need to come from previous jobs, as skills learnt from volunteer work, hobbies, education, etc. can also be relevant.

4) Identify keywords

Quite often your resume will be screened using software that identifies keywords throughout the document. To ensure that your resume gets read by an actual human, rather than getting discarded by a computer at the initial hurdle, it’s important that you include the correct keywords and phrases. Identify the keywords used in the job description and make a note to include them in your resume where possible.

5) Create your tailored resume

Now you have identified all of your previous experience and skills that are most significant for the role you are applying for, you can now produce your customised resume. Refer back to the core resume that you put together at the beginning and make any necessary changes to make sure that the relevant attributes are the most prominent and you have made use of the keywords. It’s best to keep your resume short and to the point, so try to remove any experience that isn’t particularly important for the role you are applying for and elaborate on some of the most applicable content.

[Image Credit: Shutterstock]


About Sophie Deering

You can follow Sophie at @SophieDeering.

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