Crafting a targeted resume when applying directly to a job is crucial if you want to sell yourself as an ideal candidate. Ideally, you would be able to match noteworthy accomplishments from your past to each of the requirements. You could then present it in a way that shows the reader that you not only have the hard skills and experience they’re looking for, you have the intangible qualities (your soft skills) as well. Unfortunately, that’s often easier said than done.
Four Steps to Tailor Your Resume to Have the Greatest Impact in the Hands of a Hiring Manager
Avoid submitting your resume without tailoring it to the job. It could drastically hinder your chances of getting an offer. Whether you lack some of the desired experience listed on a position description or you’re simply struggling to present your experience effectively, the following guidelines will help you create a more powerful and effective resume for each position to which you apply.
Step 1: Review the Vacancy Announcement Thoroughly
The job posting is the most significant source of information regarding what the hiring manager is seeking. Essential skills and experience are often listed out clearly as requirements, while desirable areas of competency are either included in a separate section or designated as preferred. Make a note of which core competencies are placed near the top of the lists, as they generally reflect their most immediate and crucial needs. Use this information to identify what should be included and possibly emphasized on your resume.
Step 2: Seek Out Company Values
Another way to determine priorities is to learn more about the company’s culture and values. Visit the company’s website and check out their social media presence. Learn about their history as well as their future plans. Pay special attention to mission and values statements, company news and philanthropic efforts. These entries can give you insights regarding the soft skills, such as communication and teamwork, that are seen as vital to the business and speak to their larger goals.
Step 3: Identify Your Matching Skills, Experience & Values
Once you are fully aware of where the company’s priorities lie and what is essential to the role, you can begin identifying your matching competencies and accomplishments. Do you fully meet the requirements? If not, consider how far off you are. Identify comparable skills or experience that might be able to fill in the gaps. Make sure to identify your values and soft skills that might help a hiring manager overlook any perceivable shortcomings as well.
Step 4: Integrate the Information
Using your prior research, begin updating your professional summary with references to the highest priority skills. Highlight two or three skills in your professional summary and relegate the remaining core competencies to other portions of your resume. Remove any superfluous details from this section, particularly those that do not specifically apply to the target role. This puts critical information front and center, ensuring the hiring manager locates it quickly and entices them to dig deeper into your resume.
Once the professional summary is complete, you can update the remainder of your resume. When you create new content, include skills in statements that relate to specific achievements, quantifying them whenever possible. This not only showcases your competencies but also clearly demonstrates the value you can provide to the company should they choose to hire you. Do your best to highlight the abilities and achievements that coincide with their top priorities in your most recent work experience, as it better attests the relevancy.
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