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Five Easy Steps to Customizing Your Resume

Your successful job search depends on your ability to communicate your value to potential employers. While you know that your skills and personality would be a great fit for their organization, recruiters and hiring managers don’t. They’re looking for a candidate who meets all the criteria outlined in their job posting.

If you want to stand out from the crowd, you have to demonstrate exactly why you are the ideal fit. A generic “one-size-fits-all” résumé simply doesn’t reflect your full value. Only a customized résumé will garner the attention you need to be considered as a top candidate. Customize your generic résumé by following these steps:

  1. Read, Read, Read You have to know and understand your audience before you can effectively speak to them. Read the job description carefully and note all the skills, experience and certifications that are listed as requirements. Identify keywords and phrases that you can incorporate throughout your customized generic résumé to capture attention and help employers see why you are a great fit.
  2. Research Do your research. Spend time on the company website, check out its Twitter feed and Facebook posts. Do an Internet search for articles that may have been written about the company. Research will help you determine how it can best benefit from your unique experience, skills and talent. Once you identify ways you can make a meaningful contribution, state your case by customizing your résumé to reflect those details.
  3. Rewrite Strategically polish your résumé by using language that complements and supports the company’s initiatives and culture. Weave specific experience and required job skills throughout every section of your résumé, including:
    • Objective . Leverage this section to show how you are perfectly suited for the open position. Make it as concise and targeted as possible, using the keywords and phrases you identified during your research, as well as those used in the job description.
    • Title Be precise when listing job titles—don’t use generic monikers. Remember, job titles are not always the same at every company, even though individuals may perform the exact same duties and responsibilities. Eliminate confusion and take your cue from the job listing. Use the exact same title listed in the posting if you performed the same duties at a previous company.
    • Results Rather than simply listing your job skills, describe the results and benefits driven by your performance at other companies. Briefly discuss challenges you faced and how you overcame them. How did these actions benefit the company? Quantify, quantify, quantify. Companies value workers who can help enhance performance and profits, save time and money and contribute to other tangible milestones.
    • Job DescriptionsStreamline descriptions of your past job roles so they only include details that are relevant to the job for which you are applying. Read through your generic resume and highlight details that directly correspond to the job. A hiring manager or recruiter will only be interested in details that are relevant to their job posting.
  4. ReviewOnce you have completed the first draft of your customized résumé, read through it carefully. Are there aspects of your experience, skills or certifications that you can emphasize or clarify? Have you used all the keywords and phrases you identified? Look for additional opportunities to clearly convey to prospective employers that you are a strong candidate for the open position.
  5. Feedback Enlist the help of a few friends, former colleagues or career mentors. Ask them to review your customized resume and provide honest feedback. This will help ensure it is strategically aligned with the requirements of the job you are pursuing. Also make sure it is flawless. Your resume MUST be free of grammar, punctuation and spelling errors.

    By following these five steps, you can create a tailored résumé that lets potential employers clearly know why you are an ideal fit for a position. By doing so, you boost your chance for successfully landing the job of your choice.

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