Tailoring your resume is one of the most important steps in applying for a job. It shows you care about getting the job and it increases your chances of being noticed by hiring managers and recruiters. It also helps you get past ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems) which can flag your application as irrelevant or even spam if it’s too general.
The first step in tailoring is to carefully read the job description and understand what the company is looking for in their ideal employee. Then, look at your own professional experience and figure out how your skills and experiences match up with those needs.
Generally speaking, you’ll want to change the work experience section of your resume to highlight more relevant experience. This could mean changing the order of your bullet points or rewording them to emphasize different aspects of your experience. For example, if the job description emphasizes leadership, you might want to put a bullet point on your resume listing your leadership accomplishments before any individual project or task that you’ve worked on.
Once you’ve finished your changes, it’s a good idea to have someone else read through them and see if they can easily understand what kind of candidate you are based on your resume alone. If they can’t, you might need to do some more tailoring. Good luck! Lily Zhang is a career counselor at the MIT Media Lab where she works with students from AI experts to interaction designers. When she’s not indulging in a new book or video game, you can find her thinking about, talking about, or writing about careers. Tailoring your resume