Why should you adapt your résumé to each job?
As recruiters, we receive a huge amount of resumes every day for many different jobs. It goes without saying that unfortunately, the reading time allocated to each resume is often short. Therefore, it is important - for both candidates and recruiters - that the key skills required for the position clearly stand out on your resume. That's why we strongly recommend that you adapt your resume to each job that you apply for.
When looking for that “top candidate” for a client, the recruiter will often go through a pile of resumes.
What will the recruiter look for?
The skills required by the client for a specific job.
What does the recruiter hope to find in your resume?
Exactly these required skills, relevant experiences, or transferable skills.
How do you know exactly what specific skills the recruiter is looking for?
By reading carefully and thoroughly the job description.
Yes, it’s that easy! And yet, many candidates completely skip this crucial step.
Analyse the job description
Start by highlighting all the skills and experiences you find in the offer: skills related to the job, skills related to the type of company, its size, the field of activity, the type of soft skills required also (e.g.: someone who can adapt easily, who can work in a discreet manner, who has strong communication skills, etc.)
If you are applying for the right jobs, you should have a good majority of these skills. It is important that these skills clearly stand out in the first half of your resume.
In the same way, make sure the right keywords are clear and obvious in your resume. For example, technical terms related to your area of expertise, or specific terms related to a certain type of job: these, strategically put on your resume, will make a difference. Actually, just think of the fact that more and more companies are now using software robots to scan resumes and there too, the right keywords will clearly work in your favor!
Organise the order of your skills
Of course, we are not asking you to write a completely different CV for each time you apply to a job, nor to lie and add skills that you don’t have.
However, adapting the order in which you mention your skills on your resume, or re-arranging the descriptions of your tasks and responsibilities with the right keywords, is something that you should turn into a habit.
For example, consider a person who has as much experience as a Management Assistant than as an Office Manager, and who would be open to applying for both types of positions. Naturally, the keywords and specific skills will be different depending on the offer and the company: it would then be a smart move to adapt the resume in order to better match the position.
Perhaps you have arranged your skills on your resume in a chronological order by professional experiences, but one of them may have more connection to the job you are applying for, so it should be put first before the others. It will be up to you to evaluate the choice of keywords and the order in which you will state them on your resume, depending on the requirements of the offer you want to apply for.
Do not forget that the same goes for the cover letter: do not send a generic cover letter for all the jobs which you apply for, adapt it each time accordingly.
Adapting your resume is an important step. If, when reading your resume, the required key skills (or your transferable skills) are not clear to the recruiter, then you will be unlikely to receive a positive feedback on your application.