Tailoring your resume to a specific job is one of the most important things you can do to help you land a job. Taking the time to tailor each and every resume you submit (yes, you should be doing this!), will help your resume get through the applicant tracking system and show the reader that you are genuinely interested in getting the job. Here are three important things you should be doing for each resume:
Your resume will most likely go through an electronic scanning system, or applicant tracking system (ATS), that scans your resume for words relevant to the job description. Review the job description and make note of any keywords that are specific to the job. The requirements section is a great source for keywords, but be sure to check out the responsibilities as well.
For example, responsibilities listed for a meeting and events assistant position may include “Assist in event registration.” On your resume, you could include all or part of the phrase “assist in event registration” (only if you actually have experience in this, of course!). A requirement listed for a medical coder may include the phrase “must be certified in ICD-10,” so include “certified in ICD-10” on your resume.
Use Specific Results
A great resume not only lists your past responsibilities but also illustrates what results you achieved while undertaking such responsibilities. Taking the example above, when applying for a meeting and events assistant position, an example bullet point on your resume could read “Streamlined event registration process by developing new data entry process to manage attendee lists.” In the same or next bullet point, list how you did this.
Why list specific results? A couple reasons: one, you could be inadvertently adding in keywords that the ATS is looking for, and two, you’ll be making it easier for the recruiter/hiring manager to make the connection between your past experience and how you may be an effective addition to the team. Recruiters and hiring managers spend an average of six seconds reading your resume, so make it count!
Tailor Your Resume Summary
If you decide to include a resume summary on your resume, be sure to make this unique to the position you are applying for. Since the summary is the first item on your resume, think of it as your resume’s elevator pitch.
You’re applying for a specific job, so your objective should be to land that job. Pinpoint the main skills and requirements for the position and briefly state what you will bring to the table to help the company solve its problem (the “why is this position available?”). An example:
“Experienced meetings and event planning assistant with 4+ years of database management, assisting in event coordination and designing event collateral. Knowledge of Adobe InDesign and advanced proficiency in Microsoft Office. Offering a combination of professional, creative and analytical skills to streamline event production and build attendee relationships.”
The most important tip in writing your resume? Spell check! And don’t forget, a tailored cover letter is just as important a tailored resume!
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