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How To Tailor Your Resume To A Specific Job Description

Every job offer you see out there requires a particular skill set, and that is why as a job seeker, you must tailor your resume to a specific job description.

It is all about identifying those skills and responsibilities that suit the job description, and then organizing your resume in such a way that portrays the needed skills.

This will undoubtedly prompt the recruiter to give you the job offer among other benefits.

In this article, we will not just show you how to tailor your resume to a specific job description but why this is essential as well as examples of resumes tailored to meet a certain job description.

Let’s get right into it.

Why You Should Tailor Your Resume To A Specific Job Description

You may be wondering why it’s necessary to tailor your resume, and that is what this section is all about.

Aside from giving you an edge over other applicants thereby securing a spot for you in the interview room, there are other benefits that come with this.

Below are some of them:

1. It Puts You Forward As The Most Suitable Candidate For The Job.

When looking at your resume, hiring managers are most concerned about how well you fit the job requirements. By focusing on your most relevant experiences and skills, you demonstrate a proven record of performing similar responsibilities.

2. It Gets You Past The ATS

Most companies including Fortune 500 ones use Applicant tracking systems (ATS) where your resume is ranked on the basis of how suitable it is with the job description.

You need to tailor your resume to optimize it for this, else your generic resume won’t even be read.

3. It Proves Your Interest.

Tailoring your resume requires additional time, and the hiring managers know that, so doing this is a sign that you are genuinely interested in the job.

I bet they will be excited to have seen the efforts you put to achieve this.

4. It Emphasizes The Employer’s Needs.

You must always bear in mind that hiring managers are eager to see how you can fit into their goals, and the only way to prove that you have their needs in mind is by focusing on your most applicable skills and relevant accomplishments.

Read Also:

How To Tailor Your Resume To A Specific Job Description – Explained

The steps below will guide you on how to achieve this:

1. Review The Job Description.

Understanding is key, and that is why you must pay attention to certain things so as to write a befitting resume for the job.

Some of the information you need to look out for include; significant keywords found in the job description – those words that occurred regularly, the qualifications required to perform the job like the necessary education or training and years of experience, and the order of the responsibilities listed so as to mirror the employer’s priorities when organizing your resume.

All of that information will play a vital role in organizing the most suitable resume for the job.

2. Review Your Resume.

Having read the mind of the employer through the job description, go back and review your general resume to know if it covers what your employer wants.

If it doesn’t, then start tailoring it to meet their needs by looking through the experiences you already have on your resume, find out the ones that suit what they want, and use functional or combination format to shift the focus toward the skills that are most relevant to you.

3. Update Your Summary

The summary section is surely the first place the wandering eyes of a hiring manager lands on as it is located at the top of your resume. 

So, it’s important that you cease this opportunity to showcase your most relevant skills and accomplishments based on the keywords you got from the job description. 

While at it, ensure that you include the title of the job to which you are applying as it will serve as proof that this is a personalized resume.

4. Customize Your Work History.

After your Summary section, your work history is another part of your resume you ought to pay keen attention to.

Customize it in such a way that the hiring manager shouldn’t struggle to know that you have the needed experience, and if your work history is a lengthy one, do away with ones that do not align with the job you are applying for.

Again, if your most relevant jobs are further back, divide this section into an “industry experience” section and an “Other work experience” section, and  make sure that the points listed under each position, in the order of the most relevant responsibilities or tasks should utilize the job description’s keywords. 

For instance, if the job description lays emphasis on leadership abilities, the ideal thing to do is to begin each list with examples of how you led a team, trained peers or other similar tasks.

5. Add Your Results

Including feasible results is yet another strategy to prove that you are the ideal candidate for the job, and seeing such achievements will surely thrill the hiring managers. 

For instance, you can write something like “developed an email marketing campaign that increased monthly sales by 10%” instead of writing “created successful marketing campaigns.”  

You will discover that while the former gave the hiring managers a remarkable impression, the latter did not because there are no details on how significant of an impact you made on your clients.

6. Update Your Skills Section.

Are there other skills you have that are not contained in the summary and work history section? 

If yes, include them in your skills section, and just like other ones we talked about, list the employer’s most prioritized skills first using the exact keywords as seen in the job description. 

Having done that, add any “preferred” skills because although they may be optional, they can give you an edge over other candidates.

7. Proofread Your Resume.

The last but not the least is to proofread your resume, and this goes beyond grammatical and spelling errors.

Check again to ascertain the fact that you used the employer’s keywords and phrases, and also compare your summary section to the overall job description then access them to know if they correspond. 

Another thing to look out for is the language you use, ensure that your words are specific enough to capture the interest of the hiring manager.

In summary, ensure that each bullet point in your work history is relevant to the job’s responsibilities and requirements.

Examples Of A Tailored Resume 

The following examples can serve as a guide for tailoring your resume to a specific job description:

Job: Accountant

Responsibilities

1. Help in the implementation of new accounting policies, standards, and guidelines.

2. Help in the preparation of financial reports such as budget performance, and financial statement

3. Help, and act as the primary point of contact for auditor requests

4. Provide accurate, timely, and relevant recording , reporting, and analysis of financial information.

5. Ensure compliance with reputable standards, rules, regulations, and system of internal control.

6. Handle sensitive information in a confidential way.

7. Identify areas that require improvement, and implement improvement to processes.

Minimum Requirement

1. Bachelor’s degree in Accounting, finance, or related field, or an equivalent of education, training, and experience.

2. Strong analytical and problem-solving skills.

3. 2-5 years of accounting/financing experience

4. Experience with accounting software.

5. Highly detailed-oriented

6. Expansive knowledge of general ledger accounting, and account reconciliation

7. Excellent interpersonal skill

Job: Sales manager

Responsibilities

1. Collaborate with the training manager to implement training procedures and ensure compliance.

2. Design and implement successful sales strategies.

3. Manage and mentor a team of 10-12 sales representatives, oversee their sales activities.

4. Prepare sales budgets and projections.

5. Manage and solve customer complaints.

6. Identify new business and customer opportunities.

7. Track and analyze sales goals based on key metrics.

Minimum Requirements

1. Bachelor’s degree in sales, marketing or related field

2. A minimum of five years of experience working in sales management

3. Ability to set and achieve sales goals

4. Proven record of planning sales campaigns and managing sales activities

5. Strong interpersonal and communication (written and oral) skills

6. Ability to train, lead and motivate sales team members

Conclusion

Bear in mind that your goal is to reconcile your professional experience and what’s stated in the job description in the best way possible.

For instance, if a job posting says: “These are the skills we need and the qualifications we’re looking for.

A generic resume job description says: “I have all this experience. I’ll leave it up to you to figure out whether I am capable of doing the job” while a tailored resume job description will rather say “Here is an easy-to-read roadmap of where I acquired and developed each of your required skills and qualifications.”

Notice the difference?

I hope that the next resume you will write will be tailored to meet a specific job description.

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