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3 Tips for Tailoring Your Resume to a Specific Job Listing

A person looking at a resume

When researching how to stand out during the job application process, you may have come across advice to tailor your resume to each role you apply for. While it may sound like a little extra effort, it can definitely be worth it. It also doesn’t need to involve a complete overhaul each time. Tulane School of Professional Advancement offers career planning resources for students to help them curate resumes to attract job recruiters and prepare for lucrative new job opportunities.

Why Is Tailoring Your Resume Necessary?

When on the job hunt, most people's first desire is to sound as impressive as possible on their resume. However, a resume tailored to a particular position is easier for the hiring manager to review and pick out if you’re a qualified candidate for the position. While a resume saturated with awards and professional achievements prioritizes you, it may come off as scattered and unfocused. A tailored resume prioritizes the position. Use SoPA's resume writing resources to help you develop the perfect snapshot of your experience that will garner interest from your target audience: the hiring manager and recruitment teams at prospective companies.

How Do You Tailor Your Resume to a Job Description?

Reworking sections of your resume to better fit different job descriptions doesn’t mean you have to completely overhaul your resume each time. Follow these simple steps to get started:

1) Identify the Company's Priorities

Help your resume stand out by mirroring the job description as closely as possible. When reviewing the job description, pull out key phrases, qualifications, and buzzwords that stand out. Focus on each section's first few bullet points—these top qualifications and responsibilities are likely what the company is prioritizing.

2) Tweak Your Previous Experience and Skills to Align With the Job Description

Now it’s time to start matching the most important points in the job description with the most visible areas on your resume. Your employment history is one of the first places recruiters look, so make the first few bullet points under previous jobs as relevant to this position as possible.

For example, does the description mention strong time management skills? Make sure to highlight specific projects that enhance these skills and be as specific as possible.

3) Do Some Editing

You can reorder bullet points, pushing the most relevant experience to the top of each section, and remove or delete any irrelevant or redundant information that takes up extra space. Also, don’t be afraid to move around sections of your resume to highlight your most relevant experience. If the role requires specific education or certifications, keep your education section at the top so it’s the first thing the hiring manager sees. If your employment experience is more relevant than your education, move your employment section to the top.

Competing in today's job market can be challenging. Tulane School of Professional Advancement helps working adults who are ready to enhance their career or enter a new field by offering flexible degrees and professional certificates, 1-on-1 career advising services, and networking opportunities. Learn more about our programs and degrees to find the right path for your next career move.

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