How to Customize your Resume and Bring it to the Top

Customizing your resume to fit each position you are applying for is no longer an options for serious job seekers. Many employers and staffing companies are using an applicant tracking system (ATS). If you want your resume to rise to the top, it needs to fit the criteria – the key words – the system is seeking. Even if someone is physically going through resumes, they give 5-7 seconds for the first glance. Your resume had better have the right words, titles, etc. popping out or it will join the slush pile. Need some help customizing your resume? Follow these 6 steps.

Before you begin, let’s discuss what a customized resume actually is:
It is still your resume and lists your history, skills, experience, education etc. It isn’t lying about what you can do or have done – it phrasing it in words that relate to a specific job. It’s emphasizing your unique talents and specific accomplishments in a way that directly connects to the position for which you are applying.

Bottom-line: the purpose of this customization is to make your resume grab interest and rise to the top of the pile.

Step one: Research the company. By reading their website and all their job postings – even the ones for different fields – you will gain an understanding of what makes them tick. What language they speak.

Step two: Analyze every line of the job description. Read the job title, the duties and responsibilities, and the specific requirements. Highlight the posting’s keywords, and then list the most popular.

Step three: Adapt your target job title or objective – the short description near the top of your resume right below your name/contact information – to fit their job title description. If you can accurately make it an exact match – do it.

Step four: Study your current resume. Examine their job requirements and compare it to your skills. Can you reword the listing/description of your skills to match their verbiage? Where can you rewrite a description to include keywords? Where can you put substance with the keywords by using them in a story on how you changed your present, or a previous, employer’s bottom-line?

Step five: List any of your skills and/or accomplishments that directly connect with their requirements first. Choose the best matches, summarize them, and highlight them at the top of your resume – under your target job title.

Step six: Proofread. Proofread. Proofread. Ask a colleague to read it and give their honest opinion. Never fail to include this last step. It can make all the difference.

You’re finished. It might take significant time the first time, but as you get used to the steps, you will soon find that you can customize your resume in a short time. Need a little more help? Come see us at Springborn Staffing. We help job seekers put their best foot forward and match them up with top companies in Bangor and Portland, Maine.

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