Master the Art of Tailoring Your Resume for Any Industry or Job Role
Tailor your resume for any industry or job role. What does this mean!? In today’s competitive job market, it’s important that you customize your resume so you grab the attention of hiring managers, pass through Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), and ultimately land an interview. With so many candidates vying for the top spot on the resume pile, having a tailored resume greatly increased your changes of being found. In this strategic guide, you will learn about how to apply keyword optimization, understand your audience, create a resume that is ATS optimized, align your resume to the role, and showcase your industry expertise. The goal is for you to know exactly how to tailor your resume for any industry or role.
Keywords play a critical role in capturing attention and passing through screening software (ATS/AI). To optimize your resume with the right keywords, analyze job postings and industry literature. Look for words and phrases that are repeated or emphasized. These might include job titles, skills, certifications, or industry-specific terms.
Once you’ve identified important keywords, incorporate them into your resume without overloading it. Include keywords in your summary, skills/core competencies section, and throughout your professional experience. Remember to use variations of the same word to increase your chances of being noticed by ATS and hiring managers alike. Additionally, you may need to spell out acronyms to make your resume more powerful. Even though the position is looking for a bachelors degree, spelling out Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) will enhance your resume instead of relying on B.A. for example.
Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) are software tools used by employers to screen and manage job applications. To make your resume ATS-friendly, consider the following tips:
- File formats: Use a widely accepted file format, such as Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx) or Adobe PDF. Avoid using images or graphics, as they may not be readable by ATS.
- Font choices: Stick to standard fonts like Arial, Calibri, or Cambria. ATS may have difficulty reading unique or uncommon fonts – especially if you apply with a PDF because there are ATS platforms that use OCR (Optical Character Recognition) and may ‘misunderstood’ a word due to the font type resulting in a potential spelling error on your application/resume.
- Formatting: Keep your resume layout clean and simple. Use bullet points, consistent font sizes, and common headings. Avoid using tables, columns, or text boxes, as they may cause issues with ATS.
By following these guidelines, you can avoid common pitfalls that could cause your resume to be rejected by ATS.
Aligning Your Resume with Job Responsibilities
To align your resume with job responsibilities, start by analyzing job postings for desired qualifications and responsibilities. Tailor your past experiences and achievements to demonstrate their relevancy to the target role. Use clear and concise language to describe your accomplishments. Balance personalization with professionalism to ensure your resume stands out.
Here are some tips to help you align your resume with job responsibilities:
- Use the job posting as a guide: Review the job description and note the required skills, qualifications, and responsibilities. Make sure your resume addresses these requirements. Please remember, you must have the skill or qualification as it is not recommended to embellish/lie on your resume.
- Customize your summary and skills section: Adapt your summary statement and skills section to include the most relevant keywords and qualifications for the target role.
- Tailor your work history: Focus on showcasing experiences and achievements that directly relate to the job responsibilities. Use keywords and industry-specific terms to highlight your expertise.
- Emphasize transferable skills: If you’re transitioning to a new industry or job role, highlight skills that can be applied in various contexts, such as leadership, communication, or problem-solving.
Showcasing Industry Expertise
To showcase your industry expertise, consider the following strategies:
- Certifications and training: Include relevant industry-specific certifications, training, or professional memberships. These can demonstrate your commitment to staying current in your field.
- Industry jargon and terminology: Use industry jargon and terminology appropriately to show your familiarity with the field. However, avoid over using jargon, as it can make your resume difficult to read for those not familiar with the terms.
- Highlight relevant projects and collaborations: Showcase projects, collaborations, or accomplishments that demonstrate your expertise in the target industry. This can help establish your credibility and showcase your skills in action.
Another way to tailor your resume is by using data and metrics to showcase your accomplishments can make your resume stand out. Quantifying achievements helps hiring managers understand the impact you’ve had in previous roles. Here are some tips for quantifying achievements across various industries and job roles:
- Use numbers: Whenever possible, include numbers to show the scale of your achievements. For example, mention the percentage of increased sales, the number of team members you managed, or the amount of money you saved the company.
- Be specific: Avoid vague descriptions and instead provide specific examples of your accomplishments. This will help demonstrate your skills and expertise.
- Balance data with narrative: While numbers are important, it’s also essential to provide context. Explain the challenges you faced and the strategies you used to achieve your goals. However, remember to be brief and sell the result – you want the opportunity in an interview to fully explain how you did it.
Powering Up Your Resume with Action Verbs
Using strong action verbs can create a dynamic and engaging resume. Here are some examples of action verbs for various industries and job roles:
- Sales: Boosted, captured, generated
- Marketing: Launched, optimized, promoted
- Finance: Analyzed, budgeted, forecasted
- IT: Developed, implemented, streamlined
To select action verbs that align with job responsibilities and desired qualifications, review the job posting for keywords and incorporate them into your resume.
Understanding Your Audience
In some cases, it’s important to understand the target audience. Start by researching the industries and job roles you’re interested in. Familiarize yourself with key stakeholders and decision-makers in the hiring process, such as HR professionals and hiring managers. This will allow you to adapt your resume’s tone, style, and content to appeal to the right people.
Networking for Resume Success
Leveraging your professional network can provide valuable insights into industry-specific expectations and preferences. Here are some strategies for gathering feedback on your resume drafts from professionals in your target industry or job role:
- Reach out to connections: Ask trusted colleagues or mentors for their input on your resume. They can provide valuable insights into what hiring managers are looking for.
- Join professional organizations: Many industries have professional organizations or networking groups. Joining these organizations can help you make new connections and gather resume feedback.
- Attend networking events: Participate in industry-specific events, conferences, or workshops. These events can provide opportunities to meet professionals in your field and gather resume advice.
By utilizing networking connections, you can also gain referrals and introductions to potential employers.
Enhancing Your Digital Presence
A strong online presence is increasingly important in the hiring process. To align your digital presence with your tailored resume, consider the following strategies:
- Update social media profiles: Make sure your LinkedIn profile and other professional social media accounts are up-to-date and reflect the information on your resume. Include relevant keywords, job experience, and industry expertise.
- Create an online portfolio: An online portfolio is a great way to showcase your work and accomplishments in select positions/industries. Include examples of your projects, case studies, and other relevant work samples.
- Maintain a personal website or blog: Establishing a personal website or blog can help demonstrate your industry expertise. Share your thoughts on industry trends, best practices, or case studies.
Increasing your visibility and success of being found on LinkedIn involves a combination of optimizing your profile, engaging with the platform, and expanding your network. Here are some steps you can take to improve your chances of being found on LinkedIn:
- Complete your profile: Make sure your profile is 100% complete, including a professional profile picture, a compelling headline, a well-written summary, detailed work experience, education, and relevant skills. This not only makes your profile more attractive but also improves your chances of appearing in search results.
- Use keywords: Identify keywords that are relevant to your industry or the roles you’re seeking and incorporate them throughout your profile. This will help you appear in search results when people search for those keywords.
- Customize your URL: Edit your LinkedIn URL to include your name or a relevant keyword. This not only looks more professional but also makes it easier for people to find your profile.
- Grow your network: Connect with people you know, such as colleagues, classmates, and friends, as well as people in your industry or those who share similar interests. A larger network increases your visibility and the likelihood of appearing in search results.
- Engage with the platform: Share and comment on relevant content, participate in groups, and publish articles on LinkedIn. This demonstrates your expertise, keeps your profile active, and helps you build a professional presence on the platform.
Remember, investing time and effort into tailoring your resume for each application can significantly impact your job search and career trajectory. Don’t wait any longer! Start applying these advanced strategies today and watch your career take off.
About Simply Great Resumes
Simply Great Resumes is an Executive and Professional Resume Writing Service located in Milwaukee (previously Minneapolis) who partners with business leaders and emerging professionals within Global Fortune 500, large private, mid-sized, and start-up enterprises since 2012.
A solopreneur business, Simply Great Resumes is owned by Kerry Gustafson, a recognized, award-winning professional who holds industry-leading certifications – Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), Certified Career Coach (CPCC), and Certified Interview Coach (CIC) through the first association for career professionals in the world, PARW/CC. Dedicated to partnering and delivering on client career goals and branding strategies, Gustafson holds an incredible industry-high referral rate of over 90% year-over-year – a testament to the results she delivers and the value she provides to her high-performing clients.