Why you should customize your resume before sending it out.
Writing a resume is one of those necessary evils that, if done rightly, will reap you payoffs that can affect the whole trajectory of your career and ultimately, your destiny.
One of the greatest self-sabotaging sins jobseekers commit is to send out a boilerplate, identical resume to all 101 positions that catch their eye. Granted, there are countless online resume templates available to make the whole process a relatively pain-free one—copy, paste, send, repeat 50 times.
You may think you’re casting your nets far and wide, but the truth is that you may miss out on job openings that may really be a good fit for you.
Customizing your resume increases your chances of getting an interview, for the simple reason that you actually address what the job ad is asking for.
Clarification: this does not mean that you fabricate your resume with untrue details in order to be a good “fit” for the job opening. Rather, it means that you sift out things that are irrelevant to the position, making space for those that really matter.
A recruiter’s attention per resume is limited and you want to make the most out of the few seconds he takes to skim over yours.
Here are several ways to customize your resume:
- Insert keywords from the job posting requirements into your resume, not by copying and pasting whole phrases and sentences from the job ad, but by working the keywords into sentences that give the full context of your specific job responsibility or achievement.
- If you’re looking to change careers, zoom in on the transferable skills that are applicable to the job posting. For example, a writer looking to join the world of sales and marketing should highlight assets like strong verbal and written communication skills, wide network of contacts and the ability to brainstorm for good ideas.
- Brand yourself at the top of the page, not necessarily according to what your last job title is, but according to the sum total of the skills and experiences you’ve highlighted in the resume body in order to meet the job requirements.
It sounds like a painstaking effort, but in reality, it doesn’t take more than a few minutes to make the necessary tweaks, provided the master version of your resume is strong; the cost-benefit analysis here is a no-brainer.