How To Tailor Your Resume for Different Job Positions

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Have you ever sent out the same resume to multiple job postings and hiring managers, only to be told by recruiters that your qualifications don’t quite match what they’re looking for? If so, you’re not alone.

Many job hunters mistake thinking that one generic resume is good enough.

Believe it or not, many people don’t take the time to do this. They send the same resume out regardless of the job they’re applying for.

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You may wonder how to tailor your resume without doing much extra work.

This post will give you some tips on how to do just that. Keep reading to learn more!

Customizing resumes: Is it essential?

When I talk to people about resumes, there are three types of people in my life: those who don’t understand why they even need a summary, those who think they’ve got everything covered, and those who haven’t gotten around to writing theirs yet.

The latter group tends to fall into three categories: They never had to write one before; they didn’t realize they needed one, or they just plain forgot to write one.

In each case, they send me a generic version of a resume that doesn’t seem to reflect anything personal about themselves. And that’s a problem.

Put yourself in the shoes of a manager for a moment. What do they look for in candidates? How much time do they spend reviewing resumes? Are they looking for something specific or want to ensure they get the best person possible?

What do you want them to see if you’re attempting to fill project management or customer service positions? Do you want generic, all-purpose resumes? Or ones that seem written for your company in mind?

The answer should be obvious. You need to tailor your resume and put that relevant experience in a proper place to have any chance of being hired.

Tailoring your resume (Different positions)

Think you have a one-size-fits-all resume? You might want to think again. Tailoring your resume to the job you’re applying for is more important than ever, especially since recruiters and hiring managers are swamped with resumes.

I have compiled some suggestions from mentors and my personal experience for you to learn how to tweak your resume for different types of jobs. So no matter what position you’re gunning for, I’ve covered you.

1. Prepare your generic resume

Before you Tailor your resume, open up the most recent version of your generic resume. If you don’t have a generic resume, here’s a guide on how to write one.

A generic resume is a great starting point because it gives you a chance to Tailor Your Resume to specific types of jobs.

For example, if you’re tailoring your resume for an engineering job, you’ll want to include your experience with CAD software. By Tailoring Your Resume, you’re increasing your chances of getting hired because you’re showing that you have the skills that the employer is looking for.

2. Study the job description

I’m often asked why recruiters don’t do a simple Google search for each candidate they interview. They say it saves time and want to check out the candidates themselves.

But here’s the thing: there’s no way to tell whether someone did that research or not. And if they didn’t, you could easily miss out on a great opportunity because you weren’t looking closely enough.

That’s why I recommend doing a quick scan of the job description. This isn’t a full read; take a few minutes to skim over it. If something jumps out at you, make a note of it.

Then go back and do some digging into it. For example, if the job requires experience in a particular industry, try Googling around to find articles about companies that work in that space.

Or maybe you notice something about the company itself—like it’s located near a college campus or offers a scholarship program. These are things that might help you decide whether to apply or not.

3. Examine the order

When writing a resume, there are three main sections: Education, Work Experience, and Other Relevant Information.

Most people think about each separately, but I’ve found that most resumes look like a long list of bullets. So, here are a few tips to help you make sure your resume looks good.

Then, start by adjusting your profile on the micro level. For example, do you need to add a photo? Or maybe you need to change up your headline or summary description.

Rearrange sections before creating bullet lists. Your education and certifications should usually come after your work experience, but it depends on what type of job you’re applying for.

Suppose you don’t have much-related experience but a college degree or certification that is necessary or highly sought after for this position. In that case, you may want to move to the school/certification section before your professional experience. Don’t forget to mention any volunteer experiences directly related to this job.

4. Integrate “must-haves” and basic qualifications

The next step is to integrate the essential qualities into your resume. This is where you’ll list your most critical capabilities, including the ones you listed above.

You can list each qualification under a subheading called “Qualifications.” As you go down the list, include the capabilities most relevant to the position you’re applying for.

For example, if you’ve worked as a project manager, you might want to mention how well-suited you are to lead projects in your work history section. But don’t put that same skill set in every job you ever had; that wouldn’t look very professional.

Instead, focus on the specific tasks you performed during your career that relate directly to the job you’re applying for now.

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5. Compare your experience and qualifications

In the hiring process, it’s important to compare yourself against the job description. This way, you know exactly how well you fit into the role. But, there are some questions you can ask yourself to make sure you’re a perfect fit.

  • What are my strengths?
  • Do I have any weaknesses?
  • How much experience do I have?
  • Is there anything else I could bring to the table?

6. Use the highlighter method

We know how much we love our resumes. But sometimes, things about your career history don’t matter anymore.

Maybe it’s because you changed jobs several times, or perhaps you worked on different types of projects throughout your career. Whatever the reason, it might be time to trim some fat off your resume.

The Highlighter method takes out anything that isn’t directly related to the job you’re applying for. This includes information like your hobbies, volunteer work, and personal interests.

Suppose you want to keep those. Great! Just make sure that they’re relevant to the job description.

7. Consider the content design

The most important thing about creating a resume is ensuring it looks good. This includes everything from fonts and colors to Layout and formatting. But how do you know what works best? There are multiple ways to make your resume look great. Here are some tips to consider.

1. Resume Layout

Resumes come in many different formats. Some people prefer bullet points, while others use a chronological format. If you’re looking for a specific type of job, try searching for those keywords in the resume template builder. You can even customize resumes based on industry.

2. Font Style

Font styles vary greatly depending on the person writing them. For example, someone working in tech could use a serif font like Times New Roman, while a marketing manager might opt for a sans-serif option like Helvetica Neue. However, certain things should be considered when choosing a font style.

3. Color Scheme

Colors play a huge role in how your resume looks. One study found that bright colors are better suited for men and dark ones for women. Certain industries also favor specific color palettes. For instance, healthcare professionals use blue and green, while marketers often opt for red and orange.

8. Your objectives: To state or not?

Writing down your objectives is an excellent place to start if you are looking for a job. This could include things like “I want to work at a fast-growing company” or “I want to work for a company where I am valued.” You don’t necessarily need to list everything you’d like to achieve. Just pick one or two.

This is especially important if you’re switching careers – say, moving from marketing to finance. Your resume needs to communicate your transferable skills. In addition, having a clear objective gives you something to discuss during interviews. You’ll already know how to answer when asked questions like “Why did you choose X over Y?”.

9. Headline and filename: To change or not?

If you’ve been applying to jobs lately, you’re getting rejected because of a poor job title or file name. You might think your resume is great, but if it doesn’t stand out among the thousands of others being reviewed, it’ll never even see the light of day. Here are some tips to keep in mind when revising your resume:

1. Make sure your resume is easy to find.

2. Use headings and subheadings to break up information.

3. Keep your resume short and sweet.

4. Don’t use jargon or buzzwords.

5. Include keywords in your resume headline and summary.

6. Use a consistent font throughout.

10. Proofread, proofread, proofread!

The best way to ensure that your resume looks great is to give it a final proofread. You might think that once you’ve turned it into a PDF file, there’s nothing left to do. However, there are still plenty of things that could go wrong. Here are some tips to help make sure that your resume gets the attention it deserves.

1. Print out a copy of your resume and proofread it. This way, you can see your mistakes and correct them. Try reading it aloud if you don’t want to print it out. Do this every few months as well.

2. Proofread it twice. This includes checking spelling, grammar, punctuation, and formatting errors. Make sure that everything is clear and easy to understand.

3. Check your margins. Are they too broad? Too narrow? Is your font size large enough? Does it fit comfortably on one sheet of paper?

4. Make sure that your contact information is upfront and visible. Include your full name, email address, phone number, LinkedIn profile URL, etc. Don’t forget about social media handles.

5. Review your cover letter. Have you included all of your relevant skills and experience? Did you include any keywords?

6. Double-check that you haven’t missed anything.

11. Ask for honest feedback

You’ve been working hard on getting ready for your following extensive interview. You’ve polished your resume, practiced your pitch, and even prepared some questions. Now it’s time to meet face-to-face. But how do you know what you look like? What about your personality? How do you think people perceive you?

The best thing you can do is ask someone else — preferably someone who knows you well — about your skills and experiences. A trusted friend, family member, or colleague could give you candid feedback on your strengths and weaknesses. Or you could talk to an expert such as a recruiter, career coach, or professional networker.

Start working on resume tasks before tailoring your resume

If you’ve ever been asked to tailor your resume for a specific position, you know how tedious it can be.

You spend hours combing through LinkedIn profiles, searching online, and calling people up to find out what skills are required for the role.

And then, you spend even more hours trying to ensure those skills match the requirements listed on the job posting.

Here’s a checklist of what you need to do before you begin customizing your resume for each job application:

Do the preliminary job research

The job market changes constantly. Even if you’ve been out of work for months, it never hurts to check up on what employers are looking for now. Researching the job description for a position you’d like to pursue could help you decide whether or not you’re qualified for that particular role.

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If you haven’t already done so, take some time to think about what type of career you want to pursue in the next few months.

Once you know what you want to do, look into the different types of positions that align with those goals. Then, start researching each of those roles to see how much detail is included within the job posting.

Make sure you’ve got bullet points

If you are looking for work, it might seem like there are too many options to narrow down. But according to CareerBuilder, finding something you’ll love doing is easier than ever. “You need to focus on what you want,” says career expert Chris Guillebeau. “The next step is to figure out what those things are.”

That’s why he suggests starting with some preliminary research into different kinds of jobs. For example, Guillebeau recommends checking job descriptions and seeing what keywords people use to describe each role.

Then, once you’ve narrowed your list, start researching companies and industries that interest you. Once you know what you’d ideally like to do, it’s time to begin crafting your resume.

Decide the number of versions

When it comes to job hunting, one of the most important things you can do is keep track of what you are doing. If you apply to too many companies, you risk being seen as a jack of all trades and master of none. And if you don’t know where to focus your efforts, you could waste precious time.

The best way to decide how many copies of your resume is called the “bucket method,” It involves creating several buckets based on the type of position you seek. For example, if you’re looking for a UX designer position, you’ll want to use separate buckets for UX designers, graphic design professionals, and information architects.

Once you’ve determined how many buckets you need, take each category and write down every industry that applies to it. Then go through those categories and list every position you can find in that field. This gives you a rough idea of how much work you’ll need to complete.


As I have mentioned, customizing your resume can help you stand out from the competition and increase your chances of getting an interview.

Have you ever tailored your resume for a specific job position? Do you think that tailoring your resume is the way to go?

If you want to make sure your resume is tailored perfectly for the job position you’re targeting, our team of experts can help.

We offer coaching services that will help you highlight the skills and experience that are relevant to the specific role.

So whether you need a little bit of guidance or a complete overhaul, we can get your resume looking its best.

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