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Win More Interviews by Tailoring Your Resume—Our Top Tips

Written by Norma Dávila, Ph.D., CPRW, CPCC

Chances are that sending the same résumé for every opportunity is generating fewer interviews than you expected.

Clients often ask if it’s really necessary to tailor your résumé for every potential opportunity. The answer is a resounding YES!

A résumé is one of several tools that you will use to spark interest in you as a candidate so that you can get an interview. Since you need to catch and sustain someone’s attention to achieve your objective, your chances of getting that interview increase significantly when you customize your résumé for each target job role.

But you don’t have to start from scratch every time. A well-crafted achievements-based résumé already showcases your career, so the heavy lifting is already done.

Ready to start?

Before you do anything else, get the job posting, your most recent résumé, your most recent performance evaluation, and similar job postings from other companies because:

  • The job posting will give you information about the company, the position, and its requirements;

  • Your most recent résumé will be the document you will adapt;

  • Your most recent performance evaluation may have achievements that are missing from your most recent résumé; and,

  • Similar job postings from other companies will give you an overview of where the industry stands as well as important vocabulary and keywords to use in your customized résumé.

Now you are ready to gather information.

  • Review the job posting to see if you meet 70%+ of its requirements before applying.

  • Determine the organization’s pain points and what they would like to accomplish with this role.

  • Find the key terms and keywords used most frequently in the job posting and in similar job postings.

  • Identify what you have on your most recent résumé that demonstrates your capacity to address those pain points.

  • Search for additional role-related achievements in your most recent performance evaluation.

Let’s put it all together.

  • Include the target job title as your headline right below your name.

  • Place any required/desirable professional certifications and designations above your target job title and also under education in more detail.

  • Omit acronyms of degrees after your name on the first page unless they are required.

  • Use keywords to show you possess the key skills and areas of expertise that are required for the job.

  • Keep the recruiter and hiring manager engaged by organizing each section’s content around what’s important for the role and the organization.

  • Evaluate the additional achievements from your most recent performance evaluation to see how they will strengthen your candidacy.

  • Create a section of career highlights to showcase earlier achievements that will stand out for the new role, particularly if you are transitioning into a different field or industry.

  • Focus on your transferable skills and achievements for the new context if you are changing fields or industries.

  • Only include certifications, designations, and licenses related to the role and that are up to date.

  • Be selective about additional qualifications such as thought leadership, professional development, and awards.

  • Introduce new terms and keywords ONLY where they fit seamlessly.

  • Delete less relevant information and details to avoid distractions from your qualifications.

  • Proofread, proofread, and proofread.

Remember to think like an employer and emphasize what you have already done that you can do for them. Let your résumé be your best calling card for that dream job.

Contact us to find out how we can help you land more interviews by creating a stand-out resume and LinkedIn profile, developing a custom job search strategy, and more.


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