Tailoring Your Resume for your Audience

Tailoring Your Resume for your Audience


You’ve formatted your resume, created strong
content, and feel ready to submit…. You need to complete one last step. If you want to stand out as an applicant,
you need to tailor your resume to the audience and position description. Why is your audience important? Above all else, you want to demonstrate that
you understand their industry and work culture. The resume is your chance to show that you
can support THEIR needs. Think about how you fit with the position
and what unique contributions you can offer. Then think about what else they should know
about you regarding skills or experience. Remember that your application documents are
persuasive in nature. Thinking through these components will help
you consider how you’ll provide relevant examples to support that you are a strong
candidate and should receive an interview. To be a competitive candidate, the organization
needs to see how your strengths, skills and experience align with their position, organization,
program, and/or industry. Your education is a great asset and specific
academic knowledge may align well with the organization’s needs. You may have additional applicable experiences
that you can draw upon to demonstrate the alignment. While having the same skill mentioned throughout
your resume will show greater expertise, be sure to highlight skills related to the position
or industry. If you haven’t had experience in the industry
or in a similar position before, that’s ok! Instead, you’ll focus your resume on emphasizing
your transferrable skills. You’ll first want to do your research of
skills that are typically required in the position and industry. The job description will provide a lot of
this information. Consider reading LinkedIn profiles of professionals
who work in similar roles to make note of skills they mention and language they use
that may be specific to the industry. Take a look at the transferrable skills handout
in the notes. To make your transferrable skills stand out
through strong content development, watch the Developing Resume Content video. Let’s take a look at how to put all of these
components together and tailor content to a specific position. Here’s our sample job description, don’t
worry if this position isn’t in your industry area, we’re not focusing on the actual work,
but instead how to read a job description and adapt your resume based on the information
provided and the research you’ve done on the employer and industry. If you have a position you want to apply for,
get it out. If not, download the position description
in the notes that we will use for this example. Once you’ve read through the full description,
go back to the beginning and make a list of the important words and phrases that you find. Be thorough in this first step. Here are some examples: project management,
presentation skills, and research. Do you see more? Write them down. You can see that this employer is also looking
for someone who has branding experience and critical thinking skills, among others. Now that you have your list of keywords and
have taken note of important phrases, do you see any themes? The example posting can be organized into
themes of communication, and leadership. Do either of these themes seem to be emphasized
more than the others? Communication skills are mentioned more times,
indicating that they are most important to this position. Now that you have an idea of the themes and
which skills are most important, let’s make a chart. On the left, list the skills the employer
is seeking, on the right list how you’ve used these skills. Now make sure you’re representing these
on your resume. Focusing on the communication theme, you can
put information about papers you’ve written, professional presentations you have given,
how you’ve contributed to a group, or teaching experience. You may need to re-order bullet points, re-organize
sentences, or even add in bullet points that you previously thought weren’t important
to include. Need help turning your skills chart into content? Check out the Developing Resume Content video. Tailoring your resume takes time, but it makes
a HUGE impact. The more specific your resume is to the industry
and company, the more notice it will get. Many organizations use an applicant tracking
system, or ATS, to filter out resumes that don’t contain keywords, most often taken
from the job posting. Tailoring your resume increases the chance
of making it through this initial screening to be seen by the hiring manager. Take some time to tailor your resume, then
bring it in to Drop-in Advising along with the job description. We are happy to assist and answer questions
you have along the way.

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *