Oh, the joys of job searching. You’ve got to filter through about a million boring job listings until you find one that could be the job of your dreams…or at least a job that doesn’t seem like a total nightmare.
Once you find the perfect job, it’s time to send in that perfectly-crafted resume that you slaved over for hours when you started applying for jobs in the first place — but wait! Have you made sure that your resume shows that you’re perfect for this specific job?
Here’s the deal:
Recruiters see so many resumes every day that eventually, they all start to blur together. If you want yours to stand out so you can land an interview, you’re going to have to customize your resume so that it addresses everything the employer is looking for in an ideal candidate.
Here’s how you can tailor your resume to every job you apply for in five easy steps:
Read over the job description and make note of any qualities or skills that are important for the job, then scan your resume to see if these words are reflected in your own experiences. If they aren’t — revamp your resume using the buzzwords and traits you found in the job description.
If you’re not sure of what words to use to show how your experience is perfect for the position, do a quick Google search of the job title to pick up some lingo you can use to describe yourself.
For example, if you’re applying for a job as a Content Creator, you’re going to want to use words like “copyedit,” “proofread,” and “deadlines,” throughout your resume. It might seem simple, but these words will determine whether your resume gets you an interview, or gets thrown in the trash.
It might make sense to list your work experience in sequential order, but in the world of job hunting, you want your most valuable and relevant experience right there at the top.
Employers only spend a few seconds looking at a resume before they decide if it’s a keeper, so you’ll want to make sure that they can see your value quickly and clearly — without having to search the page for something mildly interesting.
Find your work or volunteer experiences that are the most closely related to the job you’re applying for, and rearrange your resume so that they stand out — and while you’re at it, make sure to use keywords we’ve been talking about.
Another great way to stand out from other candidates? Show employers that your values align with theirs. This will show them that you have a good sense of character, which is a quick and easy way to make a good impression.
So, how do you do this, you may ask? Easy, just check the company website for an “About Us” section, and you’re likely to find a paragraph or two detailing their core values. You might even find these traits in the job description, with phrases like “clear communicator,” “works well with others,” and so on.
If, however, the company has values that don’t align with yours, you might want to reconsider applying for the job. For example, if the company has a high respect for Doritos, but you have an unwavering devotion to Cheetos, you might consider applying for a job somewhere that values the same snacks as you.
Embodying a company’s ideal candidate goes beyond having a lot of experience. If you can show you’re a perfect fit for the company culture, you’re sure to stand out from other candidates.
Now that your most relevant experience is at the top of your resume, it’s time to edit your remaining experiences to show that you gained valuable qualifications from them, too.
Your first step in doing this is to look over those valuable skills we found earlier. Think back to your less-relevant work experiences and try to match those skills to the responsibilities and duties of those jobs.
Even though your experience tutoring math isn’t directly related to the solar technician role you’re applying for, you can still include those soft skills required in both positions — like structure, time management, analytical thinking — whatever is important for the job at hand.
Your final step in making sure that your resume is tailored perfectly for the job is to ask someone else to look over it.
Ask a friend or a relative to read over your resume, and ask if they can tell what kind of role you’re applying for and if you come off as a good fit. Follow up these initial questions by asking your friend what experiences and skills really stood out to them, and if you sound genuinely interested in the position.
If you miss the mark and your friend thinks you’re applying for a fast food position, when in reality you’re going for a marketing role, you might want to reorganize your experience and rethink your emphasized skills.
Your resume should make it painfully obvious exactly what role you’re applying for, and why you’re the perfect candidate for that role. If this isn’t clear, keep reworking it until it is.
As if writing a resume wasn’t enough of a challenge, now you’ve got to switch it up for every job you apply for. It’s time consuming and a bit of a drag, but customizing your resume for each and every job increases your chances of getting an interview and landing that sweet gig.
Your resume is what’s going to get your foot in the door, and it’s your first chance to make a good impression on an employer. So, if you want to stand out from everyone else, your resume needs to show that you’re the perfect candidate.
Now that you know what to do, it’s time to get to work and edit that resume! Once you do, you’re sure to land an interview and get the job!