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How to Customize Your Resume for Different Job Opportunities

by | May 27, 2015 | Resumes | 0 comments

Jobless man

Here’s a little bit of resume arithmetic for you: If you’re applying for three different jobs, how many total resumes do you need to have? The answer: Three! If you think you can just have one official resume, for use in any and all job application scenarios, then you may be in for a rude awakening: The really skilled jobseekers customize their resumes to match each particular opportunity. If you want to remain competitive, then you need to do likewise.

But how do you customize your resume? Do you have to completely rewrite your resume every time you apply for work, from top to bottom? Probably not. What you should do is look to a few sections that lend themselves to customization—tweaking your career narrative, shifting some verbiage, and presenting yourself as the ideal candidate for the position you’re applying for.

There are five specific sections we recommend looking at.

  1. Your Job Title

How do you identify yourself on the resume? Chances are, you have had several different job titles over the years—Customer Service Professional, Marketing Intern, Senior Sales Manager, or what have you. So which title or position do you pick to list on your resume? It’s not necessarily the most recent one, but rather the one that most closely matches the job you’re applying for.

  1. Your Career Summary

Your career summary is the condensed narrative of your working life; it doesn’t include every last detail or even every last job you’ve held, but it does offer the basic story of who you are as an employee. The way you tell that story, of course, should be aligned with the position you’re applying for; if you’re applying for a management role, your summary should emphasize leadership and mentorship skills, any time you have spent supervising other employees, and so on.

  1. Core Competencies

Hopefully, your resume has a list of your core skills—basically, some keywords related to specific job functions. You may not always customize these, but sometimes it can be advantageous. If you’re applying for a job with a very refined skillset, and you happen to have some of those skills, list them!

  1. Job History

Generally speaking, we don’t recommend leaving big gaps in your resume; if you worked somewhere for five years, it’s best to include it, even if it’s not directly related to the position you’re applying for now. However, you may choose to cut some of the content from that part of the resume—listing the job for completeness’ sake, but not necessarily dwelling on it for long.

  1. Career Accomplishments

And finally, yes: As you list your specific milestones and achievements for each job you’ve held, make sure you customize them to match the position you’re applying for. One employer may care more about your people skills and customer service success stories; another, about cost savings, or something else altogether. Be prudent in how you market yourself!

And that’s what this all comes down to: Being smart about the way you brand yourself as an employee. For any assistance, reach out to the Grammar Chic, Inc. team today. Visit www.grammarchic.net, or call 803-831-7444.