How to Tailor Your Resume to Different Jobs

Woman examining a CV of work carefully adaptedGeorge Rudy / Shutterstock

Have you applied for jobs using the same resume each time? Although a resume may appear to be a static document, you must update it for each application. These changes will allow you to get the interviews you were hoping for.

If changing your resume for each job seems impossible, do not worry: it's not as difficult as it may seem. You can achieve great results with small strategic changes and we are here to show you how to do it. Do it before your next bid, and you'll be a little closer to hearing these two special words: "You're hired!

Why do you have to adapt your CV?

When a recruiter consults a resume, he does not look for someone who would be good at work in general. They are looking for someone who is perfectly suited to this job – and that's why you need to adapt your resume every time.

If this recruiter sees exactly the type of skills and experience he is looking for, he is much more likely to call you for an interview. Updating your resume strategically positions your most relevant information so that they can shine.

And today, the "recruiter" who reads your resume may not even be a real person. Many companies use software to screen resumes and extract the ones that work best for them. If you update your resume with keywords and phrases relevant to that specific job, the software is much more likely to place your resume at the top of the list.

To learn how to update your resume, start by carefully reading the job description. Pay attention to the job requirements and what they are looking for in a candidate. This is what you would like your resume to resume. You can also check the company's website and social media pages. Write down any keywords or phrases that come up often.

Ideas to customize your resume

Now let's see how to update your resume for each job.

Order of information

One of the easiest ways to bring out your resume is to rearrange the order in which things appear.

Of course, if you have a chronological resume, you do not want to break the reverse chronological order by rearranging it. But you can change the order in which there are no dates, such as your skills or achievements. Place those who are most relevant to the position at the top so that they stand out more.

You can even rearrange entire sections of your resume. For example, if you specialize in accounting but all your professional experience is in the food service, you should place your education section at the top of the resume when you apply for accounting jobs. This immediately shows a hiring manager that you have the necessary knowledge for the job.

Information included

If you have more experience than you can find on a resume of a page, you can also edit the actual information included every time you apply for a new job.

You should always keep a master list of your experience, skills, qualifications and anything else on your resume. As the list goes on, all of this will eventually not fit on a one page resume. You will have to be selective about what to include. This can become an excellent resource for your applications.

Choose the skills, experience and other information for the position you are applying for best, and put them on your resume. Cut out the least relevant details and save them in your master list, as they might be useful later for another job. The main sections of your resume (such as "Work History" and "Education") should normally remain unchanged, but the exact information in these sections may change to suit each job.

In addition, always make sure that everything that is required for the job is reflected on your resume (as long as it is honest). For example, if the job description says that candidates need to be familiar with Adobe InDesign, check it well, check it in your resume.

Work History

In the section on your employment history or experience, you should have details (in the form of short sentences or points) that describe what you did in this job. In addition to selecting the most relevant jobs to include in your resume, you can also customize the description of each.

For example, you may have worked in a retail business and one of your weaknesses is: "Open and close the store independently." However, you are now applying to work in a bank where you will never need to open or close. Instead, you can change the point as follows: "Process cash, card and check transactions using a point-of-sale system". This shows that you can handle monetary transactions with the help of software, a detail more relevant to this banking job than opening a retail store closure.

Use these sections to show the company what you can do for them. If you are applying for a job in social media marketing, you know that the company wants more social media subscribers. As part of a former internship, you may have managed to attract attention on social media and write a dash that reads as follows: "Increasing the number of Facebook subscribers 200% ". Just make sure you have evidence to support your claims.


The addition of keywords is another extremely simple way of personalizing a resume. Many job descriptions include keywords that describe the desired candidate, such as "detail-oriented" or "self-employed". Keywords can also appear in other places, such as in the company's currency. The job title itself is also a key word: if you are applying to become a grant writer, it is good to have "grant writer" somewhere on your resume.

When you incorporate these words and phrases into your resume, you subtly show that you have what you need for the job. And if your resume is analyzed by software, the appropriate keywords ensure that it will not be automatically filtered.

You can add these keywords wherever they make sense on your resume. If you have a summary or profile section, this is a good place for keywords. They could also fit into the Work History or Skills sections.

You can even update your headers to include keywords. For example, if you want to become a copy editor, update your Work Experience header to read Copy Editing Experience. Just make sure everything listed is relevant for editing. If you also have unrelated work experience, insert it into a separate Work Experience or Additional Experience section or delete it completely.

Updating your resume is essential to getting the job you want. The more competitive the domain, the more essential it is to adapt your resume. But no matter what you are applying for, a personalized resume can help you get more interviews. And once you've landed the job, be sure to read our guide to maintain your work-life balance!

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