How to Tailor Your Resume For the Job You’re Seeking

The number one thing you need to do before applying to any job is to tailor your resume for the position. Why? Most employers are now using applicant tracking systems (ATS) to filter resumes for specific keywords before they even make it to the hiring manager’s desk. 

If you want your resume to translate into an interview and eventually a job, you need to be tailoring your resume to make it past the electronic screening. Here’s how to tailor your resume for the job you’re seeking and beat the bots.

Make a List of Your Skills

Before you start worrying about how to craft your resume, make a master list of all your skills. This can be anything from experience with Microsoft Office to managing a budget to baking a killer apple pie — thinking outside the box can get your creative juices flowing. It will help you think of the skills you have outside the workplace, like patience or determination, that can also be helpful in your career. Once you have your master list, rank your skills by strongest and more valuable.

Analyze the Job Description

Go back to the posting for your dream job and re-read it, looking for the specific phrases and keywords that are used. Make a list of all these terms and cross-reference them with your list of skills. Once you see that your experience is a match, you can start updating your resume using the phrasing used in the job description. 

For example, you might have listed Microsoft Office as your skillset, but the job posting says they require someone with experience in Microsoft applications like Word, Excel or PowerPoint. The ATS software may be tracking for all three of those keywords which are currently missing from your resume. Make sure you’re using the language in the job description to ensure your resume makes it through the screening process.

Match Your Job Title 

Sometimes, your current job title is the same as the position you’re applying for — like software developer or line cook. But other times, certain companies will use different titles for similar positions. 

For example, a digital marketer, CRM specialist, and media strategist might have similar duties and responsibilities, but the job titles all sound completely different. You should do your best to match the desired job title to your current one or use it as your professional title at the top of your resume before cracking down into the specific job titles in your work experience.

Match the words in the resume with the job posting 

Find the Right Design

Having the right format for your resume is also important. If your qualifications are difficult to read, it doesn’t matter how impressive they are! While all resumes should be clean-looking and easy to read, there can be a lot of leeways depending on your industry. 

Graphic designers might want to get more creative with their resume, while medical professionals might want to keep it simple and minimalistic. You can try ResumeBuild, the ultimate online resume maker and storer of resume templates and avoid any design issues or inconsistencies like slight differences in font or improper spacing.

Keep the Important Stuff at the Top

Experts say the first third of the resume is where you should list your most relevant skills. Once your resume makes it past the ATS, you still want to keep it impressive for the hiring manager who will eventually read it. Keeping a summary of your qualifications near the top of your resume to grab their attention and highlight how you’re the best fit for the role.

Use the same logic for your work history. While you may think your most recent position needs to be listed first, that’s not always the case. Your most relevant position should be at the top: if you worked as a freelance photographer for the past year but you’re applying for a video editor position, you can put your video work at the top of your experience instead of the photography.

Robert Kelly

Robert is a business editor who writes about various topics such as technology, health and finance. He works along with the colourful folks that build a nation through tech startups. He is also a professional football player and video games enthusiast.