Your resume is the single most important document in your job search arsenal. Naturally, you want it to grab a hiring manager’s attention and show him/her that you’re the perfect person for the job.
According to Janet Incerto, director of recruiting at Summit Technical, an affiliate of The Reserves Network, “Resume customization has grown in importance in recent years because resumes and cover letters are now stored in the application databases and applicant tracking systems of employers and employment agencies.”
Job-specific customization makes your resume lean, ensuring that any objectives, skills, experience and credentials on your resume are all geared towards getting the specific job you’re applying for. Listed below are five steps to do just that.
1. Look at the Job Description
What does the job description say? Pay close attention to the following:
• Job title
• Tasks and responsibilities
• Specific requirements
• Location of the employer
If you are at least 50 percent qualified for the role, it’s safe to apply. Anything lower is a waste of your time.
2. Customize Your Objective
The traditional objective section of your resume is a great place to customize your resume so it grabs a hiring manager’s attention right away. The key is to integrate relevant keywords where it makes sense, which will ensure your resume is found by applicant tracking systems. Be sure to have the job title in your objective. So, if the position is for a “Neonatal Nurse,” make sure the title “Neonatal Nurse” is also in the objective.
3. Choose Relevant Skills and Experience Based on the Job Description
Hiring managers don’t have time to scan through a resume, only to find skills and experience that are irrelevant to the open position. So, if the role is for a graphic designer, don’t bother adding your experience as a waiter when you were in high school. Only list the skills and work experience that show you’re a great match for the graphic designer role.
Even if your skills are relevant to the job you’re applying for, make sure your skills section uses the same keywords in the job description. So, if the job is looking for someone with advanced skills in Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop and InDesign, be sure to add these exact keywords to your resume’s skills section.
4. Highlight Matching Credentials
Recruiters and hiring managers usually spend just a few seconds skimming through a resume. Placing a special section at the top of your resume to highlight your matching credentials and skills is a great way for you to cut to the chase and show the reader why your application is worth considering. Use brief and concise bullet points for best results.
5. Indicate Your General Location
While it’s never advisable to place your home or work address in your resume, adding a general location, such as a city, county or other regional terms like “Greater Austin Area” is the icing on the cake. It shows that you’re a candidate who is in the immediate vicinity and can be reached anytime.
For more resume-writing tips and tricks, talk to the staffing services experts of The Reserves Network. Call our offices to learn more about our recruitment solutions.