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How to Tailor Your Resume for a Specific Job

Every opportunity is a little bit different. Every position requires a slightly varied mix of skills and experiences.  

Meanwhile, your resume doesn’t give you much of a chance to introduce yourself to a prospective employer. You get one page (maybe two), which most HR personnel will glance over in a few seconds before making a judgment. You must provide them with the best possible impression in the shortest possible time. 

The best way to achieve that goal involves customizing your presentation. You want your resume to scream “THIS IS THE ONE!!!” 

However, making this happen can prove tricky. You want to tailor your resume to every position you apply to but the process can be timeconsuming. You don’t want to waste your energy on low-probability opportunities, or limit the scope of your job search because each submission takes an excessive amount of effort. 

How do you split the difference? How do you provide customized information for each prospective employer while still keeping your job search efficient and productive? 

The key is having a good process. Here are some tips on how to tailor your resume to a specific job, without turning the process into time-sucking boondoggle: 

Use a Flexible Structure

Use a resume structure that allows you to move things around. If your resume just lists your work and education history in reverse chronological order, there isn’t much wiggle room for customization. A skills-based resume allows you to highlight specific bullet points targeted to the position at hand. It makes it easier to highlight relevant experience. 

Start With a Comprehensive Template

Create a long document that includes all your professional experience. Each item should be explored in thorough detail. This presentation represents your master list of skills and experience. Then, you can “drag and drop” the relevant information for the position in question, quickly creating a customized resume. 

Use the Job Description as a Guide

Every company provides a set of directions detailing how best to convince them you are an ideal candidate. That guide is called the job description. Mine the job posting for details about the position, matching experiences from your master list with traits outlined by the company 

Also, seek out appropriate key words. Alter the wording in your resume to include terms that appear in the job description.  

Provide Specifics

Your goal isn’t just to prove you meet the baseline qualifications. You want to show you will excel in the role. Provide details tailored for the position to which you’re applying. Expand on the information on your master list, if necessary, in order to more closely match your presentation to the position described. 


When you start moving things around on your resume, it’s easy to insert mistakes. You could miss a word or two when you copy and paste. Or, the context might change and make the wording awkward. In order to correct these errors, make sure to give your completed customized resume a thorough reading before sending it to the prospective employer. 

Finding a position that is a tailored fit to your skill set maximizes your job satisfaction and sets you up for long-term career development. Working with a strong recruiting partner, like Recruiting In Motion, makes finding those situations more likely. 

Contact Recruiting In Motion today to learn more. 

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