Tailoring your resume isn’t the most exciting part of applying for a job, but it’s definitely one of the more important. After all, this is the document that decides your first impression. The extra effort can go a long way in standing out against other applicants.
1. Use the Job Description as a Checklist
Take a highlighter and read the job description line for line. Highlight any skills mentioned. Highlight any technical qualifications that require a specific skill set or any points that speak to experience and skills. Next, look through your resume and see where the gaps are.
2. Restructure your Resume
Next, look at your resume. What experiences, certifications, projects, or skills align best with the job description? Whatever it is, bring that information to the forefront. Make sure you order your bullet points in order of importance as well.
3. Customize your Bullet Points
Now that your experiences are in order of relevance, review each of your bullet points. Read each one, don’t just skim! Refer to the skills you highlighted in the job description to mirror language, keywords, and qualifications in your resume.
4. Put your Resume to the Test
To make sure you’ve successfully tailored your resume is to see if someone else—like a friend or mentor—can explain why you’re interested in the position just based on reading your resume. If your friend can’t successfully guess what type of role you’re applying to or how you are a good fit, then more tailoring is likely needed.
Further reading: Four Resumes Dos and Don'ts to Land an Interview