Customizing your resume to land a job takes careful thought and planning. Tweaking can be the little edge that wins the day and wins the pay.
One of the first things to remember about custom resumes is you probably will have a lot of them, one for each job application. So the first thing you need do is set up folders in your computer. The top folder should be call jobs. Inside that folder you should make a sub folder for each company you sent your custom resume to. In each of those company folders there should be a copy of the custom resume along with an informational file about the company. We will come back and visit that file in part 10 of this series.
Just to make it easy we will assume that you are applying for a office clerical job. That job requires you to have knowledge of several Microsoft programs similar to Word and Excel. The hiring company will outline their prerequisites in their advertisements. This is where a little detective work comes in. At this point you must find out what is the most important Microsoft program is and then list it first on your resume. Then what is second and so on until you have completed all of the ones on your resume.
The reason for this is your resume is more like a specification manual and not like a novel. They don’t need to read the entire resume to find what they are looking for. So by putting what they want to find at the top makes all the sense in the world. It suggests that the first program listed on your resume is your strongest point.
All this information may not be available in the employment advertisement, so you may have to research the company. This information will also help you to decide if other parts of your resume should also be reworked such as descriptions and duties of your past job(s). Once again the key here is to tailor your resume so you have the appearance of being the perfect candidate for the job. Looking to see if the company has a website is a good starting point.
Once you have made the initial adjustments to your resume, take a look at it again and see how easy it reads. It is important to keep in mind what you learned about not pissing the person off who has hundreds of resumes to sort through and weed out.
Once you are content your resume is correct for this particular job then you must decide how to deliver it. If you are using the good old fashion snail mail, then select the paper you want and print out a copy. If your resume is lengthy you may want to consider spending a little extra on postage and send it in a full size envelope so it does not need to be folded. It calls attention to you as it shows your have an eye for detail. Think of it as pulling up in a limo or a old clunker. Even placing it in a clear binder with a slide on rib may be an option to think about. Remember the key here is to call attention to your resume in a pile and keep it on top of the stack. These binders don’t stack very well so they naturally stay near the top of the pile. If you plan to use this method, then you need to go the extra mile and include a cover letter with your resume.
If you plan to email your resume consider the following, assuming you will be sending your resume in a Microsoft Word file, depending on what printer the company uses the formatting could change slightly. What fits well on one page at home may suddenly bleed onto another page causing your resume to look terrible. If you have the use of Adobe Acrobat, then converting your resume to a PDF file will insure the format does not change. Otherwise be sure your resume is not to close to the bottom margin of any page and make the needed adjustments.
Next part 10 so check back or hit the subscribe button.