During the typewriter age, it was perfectly acceptable for job seekers to send the same resume to all employers, as tailoring resumes to specific job openings involved retyping the entire document. Cover letters were used to explain the relevance of the resume to the job opening. Those days are long gone. With word processing software, hiring managers know how easy it is to make changes to your resume, and they expect you to do so.
Many job applicants fail to tailor their resumes properly – or at all. Nexxt surveyed almost 4,000 job hunters and human resource managers in 2014, and only 28 percent of job candidates said they always customize their resumes for specific job position, and 73 percent of hiring managers said that candidates do a poor job of tailoring resumes to particular job opening. Although it might seem tedious to re-work your resume for each job opening, there are four ways to shortcut this process.
Keep an Updated List of Accomplishments
In his article “Tailor Your Resume Without Starting from Scratch,” Anthony Balderrama recommends keeping a list of all your accomplishments while you are employed. Use a spreadsheet program to keep track of your work accomplishments, projects, promotions, supervisors’ names and other important information, and simply select the relevant experience from the list when creating your resume.
Read the Job Posting Carefully
Before tailoring resumes to any position, read the job posting carefully to make sure you understand exactly what the employer needs. This makes it easier for you to construct your resume around specific qualifications and skill sets. It's also important to adjust the formatting of your resume to make more of an impact. For example, if your education relates to the position more than your job experience, move the education section to the top of the resume.
Use the Job Title of the Posting
At the beginning of your resume, in either in the summary of your qualifications or career objective, use the job title of the posting. Tailoring resumes to include the exact job title creates a rapport between you and the hiring manager, says Balderrama.
Each time you send out a customized resume, save it on your computer, making sure to indicate which job listing or company you sent the resume to. As you come across similar job openings, review your saved resumes. You might have to make only minor tweaks to one of your resumes if you want to use it for a new job opening.
Hiring managers are busy people, and many of them dread having to read through resumes that are not specific to the position that needs to be filled. Tailoring resumes to suit each job opening is a good way for job seekers to get and keep the attention of employers.
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