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Table of Contents
- Why is it important to tailor your resume
- How to Tailor your Resume
- How to Insert Keywords and Tailor Your Resume Like a Pro
- Check the About Section of the Company Website
- Check the Company LinkedIn
- Add Your Social Channels
- Show Off Your Coolest Hobbies
- Match the Job With Your Achievements and Awards
- Pick Your Layout Right
- Check the Company Policy on Photos
Recruiters are drowning in stacks of resumes on the daily. If you don’t stand out from the crowd, you might as well save yourself the trouble of applying. In order to get the job, you have to perfectly tailor your resume to the position.
If you don't have a resume to work with yet, have a look at these successful resume templates.
Creating a resume is hard. While some try to just get one perfect page done and get it over with, this is a terrible approach. You cannot use the same resume to apply for different jobs. For example, sending in the same resume for a writer and a receptionist position is a no-no.
You have to show that you’ve studied the company and the position. It’s not always as evident to the recruiter why you are the perfect match, as it may be to you.
Give the recruiter a hand. Guide them to the conclusion that you are the best candidate for the job. It’s actually very simple. With a bit of extra effort, you can absolutely position yourself in the best way to get hired.
in this guide, we will teach you HOW TO
- Use the job description to tailor your resume skills and experience
- Insert strategic keywords
- Find out about the company's values and mission and tailor accordingly
- Learn about the company culture via LinkedIn
- Leverage your social media
- Insert appropriate hobbies and interests
- List your best achievements for the job
- Pick the right resume layout
- Choose the perfect photo
- Benefit from tailoring your resume
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Many people have no idea where to start when tailoring a resume to a job. The answer is actually super simple. Just look at the job description.
Hiring managers are trained to write job descriptions in such a way, that the most appropriate candidates apply. The recruiter wants to find someone great to fill the position as much as you want the job. The process should be fast and clear.
Let’s look at an example job description.
OVERVIEW OF POSITION:
Blossom is a 5-star boutique hotel which strives to offer its guests a unique travel experience. We want to pamper our guests at our state of the art spa and healthy restaurant.
We are looking for a Front Desk Receptionist who represents these values. This is a Full-Time position beginning in May.
- Welcome guests and give tours of the hotel
- Give sightseeing recommendations
- Plan a trip route if desired
- Perform concierge duties - making restaurant reservations
- Offer Blossom's signature excursions to guests
- It is crucial to be on time and to be dressed elegantly
- BA in Hospitality or 3 years of related experience
- Extensive knowledge of boutique hotels
- Easy-going, friendly and with a great attention to detail
- Willing to make an extra effort and leave a great impression
- Previous concierge experience
- Sales experience is a plus
- Be able to lift 25lb boxes
- Have the stamina to stand up for eight hours a day when needed
Let’s look at this job posting for a Front Desk Receptionist. The highlighted areas show the essential duties the perfect candidate will fulfill. How do we use those to tailor a resume?
The candidate has to demonstrate that they can:
- Plan trip routes
- Fulfill concierge duties
- Show up on time
- Know how boutique hotels operate
- Pay attention to detail
- Be good at sales
Now that we know these key responsibilities, we can tailor our experience accordingly.
- Planned custom trip routes for guests upon request
- Acted as a concierge in addition to basic receptionist duties
- Never missed a deadline and was always punctual
- Worked with boutique hotels exclusively for 3 years and gained a deep understanding of the unique challenges they face
- Performed highly detail-oriented tasks such as credit card authorizations, passport processing, room assignment and arrival coordination for large international groups
- Successfully acted as a sales liaison between local tour companies and hotel guests
We’ve managed to hit all the essential responsibilities and qualities listed on the job description. Which one do you think a recruiter is more likely to choose - a candidate who said that they fulfilled basic receptionist duties or one who says that they fulfilled basic receptionist duties in boutique establishments exclusively?
The second candidate clearly demonstrates knowledge and passion for this niche side of hospitality, which makes them a way better fit.
Inserting keywords in your resume is a clever and subtle way to peak the recruiter’s interest. Again, we will use the job description in order to identify the key responsibilities and qualifications.
For example, if you are applying for a financial position, you may want to choose some strong words from the following:
Using terms that evoke images is key. Steer clear from vague terms. You should be able to demonstrate that you can do exactly what the job requires of you in the most clear and concise way.
Nothing can make you stand out as well as the right action words. Learn about them with our guide on 200+ Action Words to Use on Your Resume (And Get the Job).
Hiring managers care about finding people who align themselves with the company values and mission. For example, if Hotel Blossom is dedicated to giving the warmest personal service to customers, they would want someone who enjoys team work and is always in a good mood and easy to talk to.
While you can’t just copy the company’s values from their site and paste them on your resume, you can demonstrate that you embody them through your work and hobbies. The best place to find the employer’s mission & values is usually on their company website, under either the “About” menu or “Mission Statement.” Do your research.
Let’s look at an example.
hotel blossom mission statement
We are a boutique hotel with very high standards when it comes to guest satisfaction. The Hotel Blossom team’s core values include personal attention, collaboration, and initiative. Our employees reflect every one of these, which helps us separate ourselves from the competition.
Now that we know that this employer values personal attention, collaboration and initiative, we can tailor the resume to fit the description.
demonstrate the COMPANY'S core principles IN YOUR RESUME
- Executed concierge duties with a strong emphasis on personal attention to each guest
- Collaborated with event management staff
- Founded a running club which participated in charity 5K races
The first point shows that you paid personal attention to every single guest, which is exactly what Hotel Blossom wants.
The second shows that you collaborated with another team in the company, which proves that you are in fact a team player and get along well with others.
Finally, while it doesn’t say that you demonstrated “initiative” verbatim, saying that you started a running club clearly highlights your initiative. Getting people to run is hard. Employers know and value this level of motivation and organization.
Going a step further, checking the company's LinkedIn page can be extremely helpful. Businesses know that they have to stay relevant through social media, which is where they share information.
Find out what the particular company cares about. Do they do charity 5K runs to benefit the environment? Were they recently recognized as a top sales performer? Once you find out this information, you can tailor your resume accordingly.
For example, if the company organizes half-marathons for its employees, slip in your running hobby in your resume.
Add Your Social Channels
Trying to hide your social media from companies is a mistake, but you do need to make sure that it's cleaned up before sharing it. Add a small corner with your Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram account information.
This way the recruiter will know that your social-media presence is good and clean and will not have to spend additional time Google-searching you. You get bonus points for reposting and sharing information relevant to the company and the position.
Your social media corner can go on the very bottom of your resume or up top, next to your contact information.
While it’s not obligatory to put your hobbies and interests on your resume, doing so can be greatly helpful while tailoring your resume to a specific positions.
As we spoke about researching the company mission and values, you can not only tailor your experience and skills to the position but also choose your most appropriate hobbies and interests.
For example, if you're applying for a job as a tour guide, mention that your hobbies include traveling and camping.
If you know that the company values teamwork, for example, you can tailor your resume to state that one of your hobbies is playing on a basketball team, or that your interests include coaching middle school sports teams.
If the job calls for someone who is creative and a problem-solver, slip in your design hobby. If you enjoy creating Wordpress sites in your free time, chances are that you have a high level of creativity and know how to deal with technical issues.
If you're after a job at a fashion magazine, mention your passion for photography, illustration and building blogs.
In case a company is looking for someone with great communications skills, let them know that one of your hobbies is to to host events at your local community center.
Using hobbies and interests to tailor your resume is a subtle and effective way to show the recruiter that you are the perfect match.
While it’s always a great idea to list your most notable achievements on your resume, you can masterfully tailor them to the job requirements. Yes, it’s impressive that you were the highest performer in your sales team and got promoted within your first two months, but that doesn’t do much if you apply to be a teacher.
If the job calls for someone who knows how to manage a team and needs to fulfill a sales quota, list an accomplishment which directly corresponds to the required tasks.
Managed a team of ten and collectively met and exceeded $500,000 quarterly quota.
This way, you will not only show that you’ve got the right skills for the job, but that you’ve gained recognition and succeeded.
While you should stick to a one-page resume, you may play with the layout based on the position you are applying for.
If you are applying for a creative job such as a web designer or an advertising executive, feel free to use charts and graphs. Recruiters get bored reading the same white page with bullet points all day long. Give them some visually stimulating information.
If you're applying for a traditional industry, on the other hand, stick to the tried-and-true resume: one page, clean format, classic font and no art.
While most companies in the United States prefer not to have photos on applicant resumes, some like being able to put a face to the name, especially in some countries in Europe. Find out in advance whether you should include a headshot.
If you are allowed to, it's always a good idea to go for it. This is where the fun part comes in - tailor your shot according to the company culture.
For instance, if you're applying for a finance job, wear an elegant suit and flash a confident smile. If you're applying for a video game job, throw on a Super Mario hat and a T-shirt. This will surely get the recruiter's attention.
It may seem like tailoring your resume is a lot of work. It does indeed require an extra effort. Why should you do it then? The company isn't looking for just any candidate. They're looking for THE candidate, the A-player, the person who's going to bring results, more results, and then some. Any extra mile you'll walk will be appreciated.
- Demonstrate to the recruiter that you’ve done your homework. After all, it’s disrespectful of their time to interview someone who hasn’t even bothered to read the description they wrote.
- Tailoring your resume to the job by listing your hobbies and interests will show the hiring manager that they aren’t just taking someone who can do the tasks required, but someone who enjoys doing them.
After all, every company wants happy employees. Showing that you already feel passionate about the tasks you will be doing is a major plus.
By researching the values and mission of the employer and tailoring your resume accordingly, you show that you will be a good fit right off the bat. Every employee represents the company and has a role in fostering team spirit. Show that you are the best match.
Tailoring your accomplishments to the necessities of the job shows the recruiter that you not only know how to do what they need you to, but that you’ve already succeeded in it and can be relied on.