It’s easy to let a resume get out-of-hand and include absolutely every detail of your working life, but it’s best to avoid a lengthy recitation of facts and customize your resume for each job application. Sometimes changing just a few details or highlighting a particular strength is all it takes to get your resume to the top of the list.
Drop Keywords into the Resume
Some job descriptions are rather broad and undefined; however, it’s not uncommon for a job request to include a few key phrases or words. A job for a receptionist might include the phrase, “excellent at multi-tasking.” You’ll want to insert this phrase into your resume. A job for a project manager might require that applicants are adept problem solvers. You’ll want to add a sentence into your resume about your skills at solving problems.
Consider inserting the job’s title into your resume. If your resume includes a brief paragraph on your objectives, try to fit the name of the job into one of the sentences. If you’re applying for a job as a bartender, make sure your resume suggests that your future goal is to hone your skills as a bartender.
Try to modify past jobs to include important keywords and align past responsibilities with duties listed for the new job. Before removing experience from your resume, try to modify the responsibilities to match the requests of your future employer.
Be Brief, Concise, and Staccato
A lengthy resume is rarely appropriate unless a job applicant is at the upper-management level and must provide details on 20 years of job experience. The majority of candidates don’t need a resume that’s more than two pages long. If possible, cut down excess verbiage and craft a single page resume.
Consider that you don’t need to explain every facet of every job you’ve had in your life. You should include recent, relevant work experience and highlight applicable skills gained in each position. If you’re applying for work as a copywriter, you don’t need to provide details on your skills with a cash register.
Tip: Keep a separate document that lists all your skills and job experience and insert that information manually into each resume you send out. This is the fastest way to tailor a resume to highlight relevant skills and experience.
Employers Want You to Customize Your Resume
Don’t feel as though you need to conceal the edits to your resume. An employer will appreciate the time you’ve taken to customize your resume. The days when you could apply to 20 different jobs with the same resume are long gone.
Before your resume ever gets to a person responsible for arranging interviews, it could be scanned and tossed aside by an intern who’s been told to trash resumes that don’t have specific experience and keywords. Even if a job is an entry-level position, some customization is necessary to set that document apart from hundreds of other resumes.
Tip: Bring a few copies of your resume to the interview. You might need to give another resume to the hiring manager and you’ll also want one for reference, particularly if you’ve recently made major changes to the document.