Tailor Swift: How To Tailor Your Resume FAST!


This is part three of a five-part blog series on tailoring your cover letter and resume to any position so you will get noticed. A fictional position will be used throughout the series to help you apply these tips. This part is dedicated to tailoring your resume. Start the tailoring process right with part one of this blog series!

By Bock Szymkowicz, Career Development Specialist 

Picture1We’ve learned (1) why tailoring your job application is important and (2) how to research job postings. We’re now ready to take our research and use it to tailor a resume to fit a particular position.

Remember, the purpose of a resume is to create a clear connection between your skills and accomplishments and the job responsibilities.

Tailoring a resume is one of the most important steps in today’s technology-driven applications. When submitting your resume online, a machine will do the initial screening and search for certain words that are in the job posting. If not enough of the words match, your resume will be thrown out. If you pass this screening, your resume will be reviewed a person. This person wants to know if you can effectively perform the job, so your resume needs to quickly show relevant skills and experience for the position.

This process is not rewriting you’re your resume to be an exact mirror image of each job description. Instead, you will use your understanding of the position from your research to create a resume that will fit most job postings for that particular position. The tips bellow will help you pass both digital and human evaluations!

Resume Tailoring Techniques

Key Words

  • Use action verbs from the job posting – modify some of your job descriptions or summary of qualifications to include them

Adjust Bullet Points

  • Ensure the bullet points that are most relevant are at the top, so the recruiter will see them first. After reviewing the positions, you can determine the order of the skills (ex: customer service first, organization second, etc.), and arrange bullet points accordingly.
  • If possible, create a bullet point that reflects any past responsibilities and accomplishments that match with requested in the duties of the job description. Replace bullet points that aren’t relevant with the new bullet point.

Volunteer Coordinator Example

In our last blog post, we reviewed a Volunteer Coordinator position using some techniques to determine more succinctly what this position is looking for. The results are below:

  • Skills, Techniques & Tools: Microsoft Office, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, databases, friendly phone demeanor, detail-oriented, organized, driver’s license
  • Action Verbs: Collect, process, ensure, assist, schedule, collaborate, follow up, manage
  • Categorize: Based off the verbs, you can see a focus on:
    • Administrative skills, particularly around volunteer management. (collect, process, ensure, schedule, manage)
    • A secondary focus on communication, particularly with volunteers and other staff. (collaborate, assist, follow up)
  • Specific Requests: Send 3 documents (Resume, Cover Letter-Include Salary Range, and References) to stated email address with subject title “Volunteer Coordinator.”

Using these results, let’s make some modifications to an example resume. The initial copy is on the left and modified copy on the right. Changes are in green.

Before After
SUMMARY OF QUALIFICATIONS

· Experienced management professional with proficient ability to handle Finance, Accounting, and Human Resources functions

· Possess strong interpersonal and organizational skills

· Expert skills in organization, communication and numerical analysis

· Microsoft Office Specialist Excel 2010 certified

 

WORK EXPERIENCE

Inventory Cost Control Analyst

Geography Society, Washington, DC

· Analyzed merchandise reports and accounting spreadsheets to review accuracy of data in PeopleSoft and Serenade

· Liaised with local and international vendors to ensure accuracy of freight spreadsheets

· Developed Pre-Payment Excel spreadsheet for small companies to increase efficiency

SUMMARY OF QUALIFICATIONS

· Experienced management professional with proficient ability to handle Human Resources, Finance, and Accounting functions.

· Possess strong collaboration and organizational skills

· Consistently completed wide array of coinciding projects and tasks.

· Microsoft Office Specialist Excel 2010 certified

 

WORK EXPERIENCE

Inventory Cost Control Analyst

Geography Society, Washington, DC

· Developed and managed Pre-Payment Excel spreadsheet for small companies to increase efficiency

· Analyzed merchandise reports and Microsoft Excel spreadsheets to review accuracy of data in PeopleSoft and Serenade

· Collaborated with local and international vendors to ensure accuracy of freight spreadsheets

As you can see, I made several changes to better reflect what is asked for in the job posting:

  1. I used the “collaboration” when describing my skills rather than “interpersonal,” since collaboration was mentioned in the posting.
  2. I followed up on that by using “collaborate” as an action verb in my job description.
  3. In my first bullet of Summary of Qualifications, I moved Human Resources to the front, as the Volunteer Coordinator position more closely relates to HR than accounting.
  4. I added “multitasking,” a skill requested in the posting.
  5. I rearranged the bullet points in my work experience to put data management utilizing Microsoft Excel higher.

Is It a Fit for the Job?

Of course, there are other ways to tailor a resume. For example, I could have created a whole new bullet point to reflect any experience working with volunteers or Microsoft Word, if I had any. Be sure to remain truthful when modifying; if you lie or bend the truth, the recruiter will find out, and then you’re out, no matter how good a match you are.

Check if your resume fits a particular job description with www.jobscan.co. Enter your resume and job description, and the site will show you how they match. The goal here isn’t to have a copy and paste from the job description, but to have similar themes between your resume and the job posting.

In the next blog post, we’ll focus on tailoring your cover letter for the company and job you’re applying for.


Read Part 4: “Cover Letter Mad Libs” >>



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