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Tailoring your Resume to Land your Dream Job

Making a resume you can pride yourself on can take a long time to do. Resumes contain a snapshot of your life, your achievements and your experience. Once you think you have it nailed, it’s very tempting to never touch it again until it’s absolutely necessary.

In reality, every job requires different skills and experience, which you might have but you’re not showcasing. By tailoring your resume to individual jobs you’re showing the decision-makers that you’re the talent they’re desperately in need of.

Why you Should Tailor

When tailoring your resume, you want to catch the recruiter’s eye. Here are some stats that should help you understand exactly how important it is to get your resume prepared in the best possible way:

  • 1 in 5 recruiters will make up their mind on a candidate within 60 seconds
  • Employers spend an average of 3 minutes and 14 seconds examining a candidate’s resume
  • 1 in 5 recruiters will reject a candidate before reading to the end of their resume
  • 47% of recruiters say they will reject a candidate due to an excessively long resume

Time Well Spent

Sure, changing your resume takes a bit more time not to mention also potentially writing a cover letter, but if you are not willing to spend extra minutes and hours making your application perfect, then maybe it isn’t your dream job after all.

Initially, you should familiarize yourself with the key skills and experience required for the role. Consider if your own expertise and work history match those listed and then decide which of the many aspects listed are most important.

Chop and Change

And then it’s time to starting chopping your resume. Remove any work experience that is completely irrelevant. Padding your resume with as much work experience can be very tempting but it does you no favours. A two-page resume with key experience looks a lot stronger than a four page resume with lots of irrelevant experience included.

Cutting irrelevant skills from your resume also provides clarity for hiring managers. It may be the case that you spent a lot of time and effort to build a certain skill but if the job in question doesn’t require the skill then your resume doesn’t need it – for this application at least.

Building your Best Resume

Begin with updating your summary. Don’t have a summary? Well it’s time to write one!

Recruiters are looking at a bunch of resumes for a role and as we’ve seen, they might not spend much time looking at yours. That’s why you need a very brief summary explaining your experience and what you’re looking for in your career. Try to create something that will grab their attention.

After you have the perfect summary pinned down, spend some time adding a skills section. Add in the hard skills (software, practices) and soft skills (attributes) you possess that the job requires.

Making it Relevant

After both of these sections have been added in, you’ll have the recruiter’s attention. Add in your relevant work experience and education that makes you ready to thrive in this new role. The importance of relevant education and certificates cannot be understated. If you have the qualification, make sure it is in there!

Be sure to add in tangible successes to your experience. Recruiters want to see facts and accomplishments that show how you can improve processes and growth through your experiences. Proudly express your achievements, your direct reports and your passion for this field.

If you’re not sure of the relevance of your experience, consider what you would want to see as a recruiter for this position. This will help you find the clarity needed to include your relevant experience.

The Final Touches

The last thing to do is add in any relevant extra-curricular activities to your resume. Maybe you have a hobby that is relevant to the position or you’ve raised money for a charity that works in a similar area. These added aspects can prove you have a passion for the area and could be the convincing factor.

Take a final review of your resume. Make sure you have dates and locations of employment, your job titles and the company names included.

Ready for Success

Once you’ve conquered the tailoring of your resume, it’s ready to go. Be sure to add in a thank you to your email when sending your resume. Also add in an accurate and appropriate subject line to make sure your application makes it to the right person. If the job advert specifies a certain format for the email, make sure to follow these instructions.

When you’ve sent it off it’s time to play the waiting game. If you have the skills and experience and you’ve tailored your resume to the dream job, you can be sure you’ll be hearing back pretty quickly!