In previous articles, we covered resume layouts and basic tips for writing resume content that essentially brings your resume up to a very decent standard. Now we cover the #1 golden rule that will clearly set you apart from +90% of candidates and turbo-charge your resume success rate.
Tailor your Resume for Every Role!
Why is this so effective?
The ONLY goal of a resume is to get you to the next stage
90% of candidates wrongly think a resume is meant to be a 1-4 page document that describes every single one of their skills, experiences and successes, which they can send to every role. What most candidates don’t realize is a resume made for all roles is NOT an effective resume. There is also no need to demonstrate an exhaustive list of all your qualities in a single document as the role won’t require every single one, and this is what the interview stages are for anyway!
An excellent resume is 1-2 page document that clearly demonstrates you possess the specific key skills and experience required for a recruiter or hiring manager to want to interview you for a particular job opportunity.
Recruiters & hiring managers are busy people
The role of the recruiter or hiring manager at this stage of the process is to reduce the number of people in the candidate pool to a manageable amount for the next stage. Reviewing each application costs time. When a recruiter or hiring manager picks up a resume, their first thoughts are: ‘is it worth my time to continue reading the rest of it?’
You could absolutely be the best candidate for a role but if your resume is not deemed worth the time to continue reading then it doesn’t matter if you’re the best or not. Therefore, you want to ensure your resume is as hard as possible to reject.
How to tailor your resume?
Identify the Key Requirements
Every job description has a list of the requirements for the role; however, not every requirement is valued the same.
A rule of thumb is that the ‘dealbreakers’ – those that are most essential, which we’ll refer to as Key Requirements, are generally:
- listed under Essential
- or the top 4-5 listed requirements
- or marked in some way, such as an * or highlighted in bold
Use the Keywords from the Key Requirements
Recruiters and hiring managers spend an average of six seconds on each resume. They skim it quickly for keywords to get a sense of if you’re a good fit or not. If your resume contains the same keywords that were in the key requirements, it suggests you have the skills the job requires and that it is a well targeted resume. If your resume doesn’t have these critical keywords, it is highly likely to be instantly rejected.
For example, if you’re applying for a Sales job that needs some experience dealing with crypto exchanges, recruiters and hiring managers are going to make sure you have the relevant experience by quickly scanning your resume for the keywords ‘sales’ and ‘crypto exchanges’.
Tailoring the content of a resume to clearly demonstrate all the key requirements will greatly increase your chances of progressing to the interview stage. Also, remember that recruiters and hiring managers generally have a bias to reject as they receive so many applications, so try to hit the key requirements as early as possible in your resume (within the first half-page) to avoid any risk of being rejected by them before they get to the key points.
Create a Master Document
Create a document and list all your previous roles along with all the associated skills, responsibilities and achievements for each role. Make sure you still follow the basic tips for writing resume content. This document can be as long as you want – for more experienced people this can easily be +5 pages and may initially take a couple of days to put together; however, the payoff is big!
Now, whenever you want to apply for a role, all you need to do is cherry-pick the bullet points that hit the key responsibilities and include them in your resume. This means you’re now able to create a highly effective tailored resume for any role within minutes.
Get your Resume Score
Once you’ve created a resume for a particular role, we suggest using this free tool to get a score on how well your resume matches the job posting. Aim for a score above 85. A score lower than 80 suggests that your resume is missing at least five core keywords from the job posting and is not matched to the job you are applying to.
You now have everything necessary to capture the attention of recruiters and hiring managers, and increase your chances of landing an interview for the job you want. The rest is on you – good luck!