8 Useful Tips to Tailor Your Resume

Learn how to tailor your resume for the jobs you're applying for.

Not hearing anything back from employers after applying for a job is frustrating.

Have you ever been in that situation where you have applied for a job only to hear nothing? Although this situation might be frustrating, it could be a signal that the resume you are using to apply to jobs isn’t at the level it should be. Even a resume you believe to be “perfect” might not be perfect for every job that you apply for.

Potential employers aren’t just looking for an individual with a strong set of skills. They are looking for an individual who has a strong set of skills that apply to the job they are hiring for. That’s why it’s important to tailor your resume to each job that you are applying to.

Fortunately, CareersNOW! Virtual Job Fairs allow you the option to use different resumes for each of the jobs you apply for all in one portal. You can save multiple resumes to your account allowing you to tailor each resume to the company and position you are applying for.

So, before you send your resume to an employer, use these tips to tailor your resume!

1.    Read the job description and take notes

Prior to tailoring your application, take the time to thoroughly read the job description and take note of certain pieces of information. Use this as an opportunity to decide whether this job is the type of job you could and want to do. Highlight key points that stand out to you such as the experiences which could help you to perform this job, skills that are valuable to the position, and education/training needed.

After you start making your resume, make sure that you address all these points that you have highlighted. Be specific with the points and avoid broad language. For example, if you are applying for a machine operator and you have experience working on the production line, mention things that involve your technical aptitude. Furthermore, specifically, outline you have experience working on the manufacturing floor as employers look for this type of information.

2.    Match the order of information

Generally, when employers create job descriptions, they include the more important duties higher up. Your resume should address these points all throughout your skills and experiences sections. Additionally, more relevant qualifications should be at the top of your work section so that they stand out.

3.    Figure out what’s most important to the company

After thoroughly reading the job description of the job you are applying for, dig a little deeper and research the actual company. This phase can serve as double duty, not only helping you create a resume but also preparing you for the interview. A good place to start is with organizations’ missions and values. For example, if the company you are applying to puts a high emphasis on customer service try to weave this into your resume as something that is also important to you as well.

4.    Use other job postings for information

Unfortunately, not every job posting is going to be ideal to work off of when crafting a resume. Therefore, when tailoring your resume, it is beneficial to take it a step further and search for other job postings for the same position. Find five relevant job listings and look for common qualifications among them, such as qualifications and job duties. Now change your resume with this information, inserting the keywords used in the job ads or certain phrases relevant to the industry.

5.    Don’t forget to emphasize your soft skills

Employers aren’t just looking for individuals with a strong set of technical skills. They are also looking for potential employees who can work well with others and communicate well – soft skills. It is likely that not every job you have worked for isn’t directly applicable to food manufacturing. However, that doesn’t mean that the soft skills you have picked up aren’t applicable. For example, if you have worked in a fast-food establishment then you proved that you have the ability to work in a fast-paced environment like a manufacturing facility and have worked with a team.

If you want more information on the difference between soft and hard skills then check out this in-depth post about it.

6.    Use numbers and metrics where you can

Adding metrics to your resume allows you to create a more compelling story about yourself and your credentials. Measurable achievements for example, could include the number of people you have supervised, a numerical value related to job efficiency, or even the number of products you have created. Look through your resume and make a list of all your measurable accomplishments for each role. Even including that you came in first place during a college competition could be included.

7.    Save your resume in a format that is easy to follow

Applying for a lot of jobs can get confusing and difficult to manage if you are not organized. Keep a consistent job file name system that allows you to address the jobs that you are applying for. Always start editing on a new file because working on an older copy could lead to errors.

Additionally, having multiple versions of a resume can allow you to go back and pick and choose the part which was best. Did you know that hiring managers can see what you saved your resume document as? Make it clear and simple by always having your first and last name included with the word resume.

8. Proofread, proofread, proofread!

Although this doesn’t explicitly apply to tailoring your resume, it’s always a good idea to proofread and triple-check your resume. Ask a friend or a family member to proofread your resume and get their opinion of how well you tailored your resume to the job description. A fresh pair of eyes is a great way to combat the fatigue of missing mistakes that might arrive from fatigue.

You now have your resume. It’s time to land a job!

Sign up for a free CareersNOW! Jobseekers account.

As a CareersNOW! Jobseeker, you’ll have access to 14 FREE Job Ready skills training courses that will help your application stand out.

You’ll also have access to virtual job fairs, virtual mentorship sessions, job postings and other resources to help kickstart your career in Ontario’s food and beverage processing sector.

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