Tailoring Your Resume

Many advice columns have emphasised the need to customise your resume to the job you’re applying to. Now, it’s time to put the advice into action.
Carmen Teh
Writer, gradsingapore

Taking the time to modify and customise, or tailor, your resume to “fit” the role that you’re gunning for is key to grabbing the attention of recruiters – it shows your enthusiasm and genuine interest, among other things.

On the other side of the spectrum, though, a generic resume sent to multiple employers for different job vacancies may either end up in the trash or wind up near the bottom of the pile. This is because recruiters may take such as resumes as indication of a lack of enthusiasm and interest in the job and employer.

While all this presents the argument that customising your resume is crucial for your job application, how do you put it to action? And what does “customising/tailoring your resume” even mean?

Here are some pointers to help you create a customised resume that can catch recruiters’ attentions!

 

Understand the job you're applying for

Before you hastily click on the “apply now” button on the online application webpage, or send off your application via email, take the time to go through and understand (in your own words) every point in the job description.

This is a pivotal step because you can’t customise your resume for a position that you don’t know much about.

Tailoring your resume 01_Treat the job description like the holy grail

 

Showcase relevant skills and experience

After you’ve read through the job description and drawn up a list of the skills and experience needed for the position, it’s time to show that you have them.

As a fresh graduate, you may not have work experience directly relevant to the job on offer – but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t include your other experiences. For instance, if you’re applying for a marketing position but you’ve only ever worked as a design intern at an advertising agency, that’s okay!

If you have transferable skills such as the ability to think out of the box and work under the pressure of deadlines, showcase them too!

Tailoring your resume 02_Show them why you're the best person for the job

 

Check your resume

Start proofreading your resume after providing information valuable to employers.

However, not all recruiters have the luxury of time to go through hundreds of applications and resumes thoroughly, so be sure to keep things to the point.

Lastly, when checking, continuously ask yourself: “Is it clear why I am applying for this job?”. Put yourself in your recruiter’s shoes.

Tailoring your resume 03_Don't stop proofreading

 

But don't forget about the other side

From their point of view, recruiters are asking themselves: “Does this applicant have the skills and experience for the job? Is he or she a qualified candidate for this specific role?”

If the answer is “yes”, you have a solid resume!