1. Actually Read and Try to Understand the Job You’re Applying For
Go through and highlight the points that seem important (think the ones that are mentioned repeatedly or anything that’s slightly out of the ordinary) and the points that you could speak to with your experience and skills. This is always step one—after all, you can’t tailor your resume for a position if you don’t really know what the gig entails.
2. Make Your First Point Immediately Relevant
Next, with your newfound knowledge of what the hiring manager is looking for, take your resume, find the experience that would make him or her most excited about your application, and rework the document so that’s what’s at the top. Maybe it’s your current position, or maybe it’s some specialized certifications or the freelance work you do on the side. Whatever it is, make it the first section of your resume.
3. Revamp Your Bullets Even for Less Relevant Experiences
From the job description, you’ll likely find more than just the technical qualifications needed to complete the job. Strong communication skills, ability to work in a team, and other soft skills are probably listed as well. So, while your tutoring experience might not be directly related to the sales position(for example) you’re interested in, you can definitely still highlight some of the soft skills that both positions require.
4. Check to See if It’s Clear Why You Are Applying
Finally, your last quick assessment to make sure you’ve successfully tailored your resume is to see if someone else—like a friend or mentor—can explain why you’re interested in the position just based on reading your resume. If your friend can’t suss out why you’re applying or how you’re a good fit, then more tailoring is likely needed. If you’re making a big career change and you just don’t have the relevant experience, then no amount of tweaking bullets can spell that out. In this case you may actually want to use an objective statement to properly explain your interest in the position.
Tailoring your resume isn’t the most exciting part of applying for a job, but it’s definitely one of the more important. After all, this is the document that decides what first impression you make. It might take a little extra work, but it’s worth it to be that much more memorable.
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