Four steps to tailoring your résumé

Young woman  sitting at desk looking at computer

Tailoring your résumé to every role you apply for can improve your chances of getting the job.

Follow these four steps to tailor your résumé and show an employer you’ve got what they want:

  1. Scan the job ad for the employer’s keywords.

Employers make statements in their job ads about the kinds of workers they want. Find the words describing the essential and most important traits they are looking for – these are the employer’s keywords. Also, look at for any required qualifications or certifications and address these in your résumé.

  1. Research the employer.

Find out what they do and about their business challenges and priorities. Check out their website and social media sites. If you can’t find anything specific to the business, learn about the industry or occupation more generally.

  1. Prepare your pitch.

If you had 30 seconds to explain why you are the right person for this job, what would you say? How can your work experience and skills benefit this employer? Include this information in your application, either in your cover letter or under the heading 'Personal profile' or 'Career objectives' in your résumé.

  1. Use your knowledge of the employer.

Leave out anything that isn't directly relevant to the employer and outline your work experience and skills that match the employer’s keywords. Find a résumé template that matches the type of business. A basic, easy to read layout is your best bet in most cases, but there are always exceptions. For example, if you are applying for a job in a creative field. Use your knowledge of the employer and industry to decide how to present your résumé.

These tools can help you: