Tailoring Your Resume

As we explored last week, optimizing your resume by choosing an appropriate format is very important. Similarly, ensuring that your resume is tailored to each position you apply to, even when not actively applying for jobs, is an absolute must.

So how do you best go about this? We recommend you adhere to the following:

Mirror their language: If you’re applying to a specific position, carefully review the job description and, once you’ve determined that you have the appropriate skills, modify your resume so that the wording reflects the language of the posting.

This means if the posting emphasizes a company is looking for someone with strong managerial skills, tweak your resume to highlight your leadership qualities and experience, and be sure to use terms like ‘manager,’ ‘managerial,’ ‘leadership,’ in listing skills or describing past roles.

Even if you’re applying to dozens of similar jobs, adapt each resume to the tone of each company’s posting.

Frank Wdowcyzk, senior recruitment partner at Clarity, weighs in: “If you’re applying to be a comptroller at one company and a manager of planning and analysis at another, each resume should expand on the qualifications and experiences you have that are more suited to each job. It may seem basic, but the reality is, we get lazy and want to use a one size fits all approach.”

Use strategic keywords: Many recruiters rely on keywords when scoping out candidates, and the right ones can bump you to the top of a long list of hopefuls. So use them carefully throughout your resume and social media profiles.

If you’re a passive job seeker and simply keeping your options open, be aware of changing industry values and sprinkle the appropriate buzzwords into your LinkedIn description.

Your LinkedIn profile should function as a sort of de facto resume, listing your skills and past work experiences, albeit more broadly than an actual CV does.

So, if you’re on the lookout for a particular type of job, identify the keywords commonly associated with the position (scanning myriad job postings should help) and use them in your LinkedIn profile.

If you’re a passive job seeker and simply keeping your options open, be aware of changing industry values and sprinkle the appropriate buzzwords into your LinkedIn description.

Be precise: A big mistake people make is describing their skills in overly general terms. On LinkedIn and in your resume, break down your skills to convey what you’re capable of in detail.

For instance, instead of just mentioning that you know Microsoft Excel, explain that you also know how to write and record Macros on it.

Detail of this sort set you apart from the masses, and show a recruiter or employer that you specifically are really right for the job.

“From an employer’s standpoint, a thoughtful, specialized resume shows that you’re a thoughtful, hard worker and someone who really cares.”

Always have one ready: Too many people wait too long to draft a resume, or to update an antiquated copy.

But you should always have your resume ready before even needing a job; the process of fixing it up can be quite time-consuming, and the reality is that a new opportunity could present itself at any time.

All in all, taking the time to tailor each resume and incorporate relevant keywords will pay dividends. From an employer’s standpoint, a thoughtful, specialized resume shows that you’re a thoughtful, hard worker and someone who really cares.

Think about it: After skimming hundreds of resumes for each job, interviewers and recruiters very often get fatigued. Do them—and yourself—a favour and use specific and strategic language that reflects the job in question.

At Clarity Recruitment, we’re always interested in hearing from accounting and finance professionals like yourselves, who are ready for new, exciting opportunities that can take their careers to the next level We also encourage you to follow us on Twitter (@clarityrecruits) for more tips and advice!