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How To Tailor Resume To Job

Update The Summary Statement

How To Tailor Your Resume For A Specific Job

If you have a summary statement on your resume, update it so that it highlights the skills and experiences the employer is looking for in a candidate. For example, if the job description states that they want a candidate who can work independently and is a self-starter, then your resume should include a statement like, “Self-motivated professional who is willing to take on both large and small projects.”

Tailor For A Career Change

When youve been in the same career for a length of time, you undoubtedly have an abundance of transferable skills that will benefit you in any role. Demonstrate this with actual data and specific skill sets. What might be redundant if you seek to stay in the same field should be emphasized when making a change.

Essentially, you want to tell a very concise story that highlights why youre an excellent prospect despite lacking experience in the field. Certifications and education that arent relevant in your current role might need to take a more prominent part of your new career.

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Format Your Resume Correctly

Like all technology, applicant tracking systems are not perfect. Itâs possible that youâve included a keyword theyâve missed or didnât properly export to the employer. To avoid this from happening, make sure your headlines are simple and descriptive and that your resume summary statement is included at the top of your resume. You should also avoid including tables in your resume, as those may not be exported properly through the ATS. Lastly, you should follow the employer’s suggested file type, which is typically .docx or .pdf.

Look For Relevant Keyword Skills

Tailor Resume Samples

Your first step is to examine the job posting you’re targeting. Highlight all required skills and experience. You’ll see that you can group all these skills into three categories:

Job-related skills

These are skills you need to do the job. Most skills you see in the job description will fall under this category recruiters don’t like to waste their time.Example: Developing a strong brand.

These are skills you can use in different roles and industries. Some of these skills usually make it to the job posting too.

Example: Fluent writing competency in Spanish.

Adaptive skills

These skills help you to survive in everyday life and engage in human interactions.

Example: Responsibility

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Adjust Your Resume With Matching Skills And Experiences

Now that you’ve identified keywords and know what the employer is looking for, you can adjust the sections in your resume to best position yourself for the role.

Since employers spend less than 6 seconds scanning your resume, you need to communicate your ability to perform the job at the top of every resume section.

You want to match up your experiences and skills with the parts of the job description that you highlighted.

Itâs important to include the following experiences and qualifications on your resume:

  • Experiences that match the responsibilities and qualifications from the job description.
  • Experiences that justifies your ability to perform the job.

Letâs go through a few resume sections and apply these strategies for the Social Media Lead job example.

Match Skills And Keywords From The Job Description

Mirroring the language, keywords, and buzzwords found within the job description is the easiest way to prove youre a better match than the competition. Read through the job description and make a list of the keywords and skills included, especially any that are repeated.

Start with the job title. A recruiters first search will be for people who have actually done the job before, so be sure to list your job titles clearly on your resume under your Work Experience section. If you havent actually held the job before, you can list it under your name at the top or as part of a summary section.

The next most important resume keywords are hard skills. These are often technical skills learned through experience, like project management, knowledge of software or tools, reception, certifications, writing, or payroll. Whether a recruiter is skimming your resume or an ATS is analyzing it, these are the words that will help catch their attention. Match them verbatim to the job description when possible.

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S On How To Tailor Your Resume To A Job

  • Review the job posting
  • The first step in tailoring your resume is reviewing the job posting. It is important to understand exactly what the job entails. You need to look through and determine what exactly the organization wants in terms of qualification, experience, and skill. In addition, you should highlight and write down any phrase or keyword used. These words may seem significant to the job or required skills and may have been used repeatedly throughout the job posting. Similarly, pay attention to specified requirements relating to training, years of work experience, or education. Subsequently, take note of the arrangement of responsibilities and follow the order. The employer may have prioritized the responsibilities that come first you will want to mirror the organizations prioritize when arranging your resume. In other words, the first item or responsibility mentioned in the job posting should be your first item as well.

  • Compare your resume
  • Update your summary section
  • The summary section should be at the top of your resume. This will give the hiring manager an overview of your career and history. Also, it is the first thing that the recruiter will see. If you have one, use it to showcase your most relevant skills and accomplishments concerning the job description and requirements, as well as the highlighted keywords. Also, make sure that you include the title of the job to which you are applying this proves that your resume is personalized.

  • Proofread your resume
  • Review And Edit Your Resume

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    This is a critical step to make sure your resume will beat the bots and draw attention when itâs being skimmed.

  • Self Review – Take a step back – does your resume accurately market yourself for the open role?
  • Peer Review – Even if your peer is not in the industry, do they think that your resume clearly shows that you can fulfill the open role?
  • In this process, make sure you reword bullet points and remove any irrelevant experiences or skills. Especially if your resume is looking crowded.

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    Update Your Skills Section

    Your summary and work history may not include all the most relevant skills you have, so add any remaining to your skills section. Like those sections, list the employer’s most prioritized skills first using exact keywords from the job description. Examples may include proficiency in specific technologies or technical and soft skills.

    Next, include any other relevant skills that showcase the unique value you bring to the role. Be sure to include any “preferred” skills as these may be optional but can help set you apart as a top candidate.

    Related:The Best Job Skills To Make Your Resume Stand Out

    Why It’s Important To Tailor A Resume To A Job

    Tailoring your resume for the job you’re applying for is important because it highlights to the hiring manager that you have the skills, experience and qualifications that fit the positions requirements. By tailoring your resume, you emphasize to the employer how your experiences and qualifications align with those described in the job listing.

    Related: How To List Your Skills on a Resume

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    Tailoring Your Resume To The Job Youre Applying For

    If youre a recent graduate or are looking to switch career directions, a great job begins with the perfect resume. You know how great youd be at a particular job, but all your potential employer knows about you is what they see on that one sheet of paper. Their first impression of you will come long before you actually meet in person, which is why it is so important to make your resume stand out above the rest when applying for a job you really want.

    How To Tailor Your Resume A Job

    Tailor Resume Samples

    Here’s the good news: You don’t need to update your entire resume with each position you apply for. A full overhaul would take too much timeand would increase the likelihood of introducing a typo or small error. Instead, a few nips and tucks will do.

    Here are tips and recommendations for how to update your resume for a particular job.

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    Analyze The Job Description

    Carefully re-read the job posting. Pay special attention to the job title used in the description, the duties and responsibilities, the job requirements, and location of the position. What keywords and phrases are repeated throughout the job description? Make a list of all these terms and put a checkmark next to all the words that describe a skill you have or a responsibility you’ve held in the past.

    Should I Tailor My Resume For Each Job

    Hereâs a rule to keep in mind: you should never send the same resume/cover letter combination to more than one company. There has to be something that each employer is asking for that is slightly or considerably different, and your resume should reflect those differences. Youâre trying to get noticed, and that means putting your best foot forward. You canât do that if you arenât customizing your resume to fit with whatâs written in the job proposal. Understand that your first battle is with the applicant tracking system. Youâll have to follow the points we listed above just to get past the software, but regardless of if a company uses ATS or not, your resume should be unique every time you apply for a job.

    Looking for more job application tips? Read more about how to write a cover letter that will get attention.

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    One Size Does Not Fit All

    Though its easier to create one stellar resume that sums up who you are as an employee, gone are the days that a job seeker can use one resume for every position, warns Betsy Andrews, a Career Coach for and its sister site, FlexJobs.

    These days, many employers use an Applicant Tracking System to screen applications. These programs are configured to look for certain keywords on your resume. If a resume does not reflect the key terms and phrases from the job description, Andrews explains, the application will end up further down on the list and may never be seen by a human being.

    However, even if an employer doesnt use an ATS, the reality is that a human recruiter doesnt read your resume as much as they scan it. Says Andrews, The first physical read of a resume is exceptionally short, on average, less than 10 seconds.

    So, whether its a machine or a human scanning your resume, youve got to do everything you can to make sure your application stands out from the rest of the crowd. And the best way to do that is to tailor your resume to the specific job posting every time you apply.

    Resume Work That Should Be Done Before Tailoring Your Resume


    First, lets define when this tailoring should come into your resume writing process because I know what youre thinking

    Are you expecting me to write 500 different resumes for 500 different jobs?!?

    Cant I just write one big master resume thats tailored to a general job title?

    Also no!

    Planning your job search is crucial before trying to tailor your resume to job descriptions.

    The level of resume tailoring that Im talking about should come as the last stage before you send in your application for each job. Before you get there, all of the following work should be done on your resume:

    Do preliminary job research to make sure youre on the right track.

    You need to set your eyes on the prize. If you dont yet have a clear idea of the types of jobs you want to apply for, nail that down before working on your resume.Its worth taking preliminary time to research job descriptions, examine your strengths and career path, and/or secure some informational interviews if you havent already.

    Combine all of your old versions into a master resume.

    If you have multiple, older versions of your resume floating around, combine them into one large version for editing. This is your first draft version that will not be sent out just get all of your raw material into this document and just start writing. Youll cut it down to one or two pages later.

    Work on your bullets for each job youre going to include.

    Make sure your design is clean and your phrasing is powerful.

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    Use The Exact Job Title In Your Resume

    If you work somewhere that uses unconventional job titles think Programming Ninja, People Team, or Social Media Rockstar its better to avoid the buzzwords and list your job title in a more standard format, like Software Engineer, Human Resources Manager, or Social Media Coordinator. Not only is this more likely to tick the right boxes for resume screeners, it also makes it far easier for recruiters to understand what your actual job was. And, most importantly, it emphasizes that you have the necessary experience doing the job youre applying for.

    When applying for a position, you can list your job title as it appears in the job description, as long as it still accurately describes your role. You can clarify your actual job title by listing both eg. People Team Leader / Human Resources Manager or by providing additional context eg. Software Engineer .

    Listing your job title in the same format as the position youre applying for emphasizes your relevant experience.

    How Do I Use Keywords

    This means you should be selective about what jobs you apply to. You should keep your resume accurate, so only include keywords that you actually have. ZipJobâs team of career experts suggest active job seekers apply to 10 to 15 jobs per week with a highly-tailored resume.

    In theory, all you need to do to successfully tailor your resume is to identify relevant words from a job description and use those keywords in your resume. In practice, you need both a solid, flexible resume and an eye for picking out the important parts of a job description.

    The easiest places to tailor your resume quickly are your resume title or headline, your core competencies, your professional summary, and finally your work experience section.

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    Revamp Work History Bullet Points

    You’ve got three optionsto do this:

  • Rearrange the bullet points you’ve got so the ones with the keywords that match the job posting are on the top.This is the easiest way to tailor your resume to a job ad, but it only works ifthose keywords are already in your resume in the first place.
  • Write new bullet points.
  • Think of another way to reframethe tasks or accomplishments so the skills or keywords in the job posting arehighlighted .
  • We continue with the same example using my resume. Noticethat my original work history only had a few of the keywords mentioned in thejob ad, while several of the bullet points, highlighted in purple, appear irrelevant.

    As with any candidate, youll have sub-tasks or specialties that arent related to the job you’reapplying for. In this example, its my tasks as an outreach specialist writinglink bait or roundup articles.

    For designers, you may have experience designing 3D layouts, but that may not be relevant when applying for an illustrator job. In the sameway, IT specialists applying for an app-development role should highlightfront-end development experience, instead of database expertise.

    Below is what the revised work history looks like afterimplementing the three strategies above:

    The first thing youllnotice is there are more black and red underlined phrases, which means therevised version now has more keywords from the copywriter job posting.

    Incorporate Keywords Throughout Your Resume

    Tailor Resume Samples

    Once you’ve identified the key skills and experience you match in the job posting, you can include these keywords in your resume. When including them, be sure to copy them exactly. For example, if the job description says proficiency with Microsoft Word, your resume should say proficiency with Microsoft Word, instead of something similar like experience with word processors.

    Here are three sections where you should include keywords in your resume:

    • Objective or statement: You can include your strongest matching skills in your resume objective or statement. This can be one to two sentences that describe your professional strengths.

    • Experience: Using keywords in the experience section of your resume can show employers that you have the necessary abilities to complete a job’s duties.

    • Skills section: You can also list relevant skills for the position using keywords from the job posting.

    Below is an example of a resume that matches the marketing job description in step two. Notice how the keywords selected in step three are used in different areas of the resume so it matches the job description:

    Contact information

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    How To Tailor Your Resume Using Your Core Competencies

    The second best place to tailor your resume is the core competencies section. At ZipJob, we favor core competency sections over skills sections because a job seekerâs competencies often include both skills and personality traits or behaviors.

    Like a resume title, your core competencies can be tweaked to better suit a given position. In fact, core competencies can be one of the most important resume areas that will get your resume noticed!

    Your resume should align with the keywords used in the specific job description. The core competencies, as a targeted list of skills and abilities, is a great place to swap out general words for keywords.

    For example, if a position requires web design/development experience, you want to ensure that those keywords are on the resume. You can start by placing that keyword phrase in your core competencies section. Highlight your practical experience by using the phrase again in your work experience section. Weâll talk more about that later on.

    Here is an example of a core competencies section where you can easily tailor your keywords to the job description:

    Your core competencies include your relevant knowledge base and skills. When you develop your tailored resume, you should make sure that these competencies are detailed using the job description keywords. That can help you in two important ways:


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