Tailoring Your Resume vs. Using a Generic Template

Tailoring Your Resume vs. Using a Generic Template

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The way a resume is written can spell the difference between unemployment and a fruitful career. But is it worth it to spend time customizing your resume for each application?

Most recruiting agencies use ATS algorithms that discard resumes unrelated to the job description. This is why tailored resumes have a better chance of making it past the screening process. Using keywords related to the job description also makes it easier for recruiters.

This article will discuss why employers prefer tailored resumes and how to create a resume based on your desired position.

Recommendation: Find Jobs on Salarship.

5 Reasons Why Tailor-Made Resumes Improve Your Chances of Getting Hired

Given the competitive job market, it may not suffice to merely provide general details and express your interest in a position. Spending a few minutes to tailor your resume to an application can go a long way in creating the impression needed to get that initial interview.  

It’s not uncommon for people submitting multiple job applications to use generic resumes. Many see little to no harm in using generic resumes since it saves time, allowing the applicant to submit several applications without having to rewrite the cover letter and specific details. However, submitting numerous generic resumes will not do you any good if you can’t get an interview.

Here are five reasons why employers find tailored resumes more appealing.

1. It Decreases the Chances of Being Excluded by the ATS

Many companies use an applicant tracking system to screen resumes. Given the number of applications an employer has to process, it’s not uncommon for them to use computer software to weed out applications that are less likely to qualify.  

The lack of human intervention at this stage of the screening process means the software can discard a resume if it doesn’t contain keywords or specific phrases that match the job description. A tailored resume helps ensure you remain in the pool of qualified applicants.  

2. It Highlights Relevant Qualities About You

You can fill your resume with countless details about your experience, skills, and accomplishments, but employers will mostly care about qualities that are relevant to the position. A tailored resume allows you to highlight attributes that align more closely with the job opening, making the headhunter more likely to identify you as an ideal fit for the role.   

3. It Shows a Genuine Interest in the Position

Tailoring your resume makes it evident to the recruiter that you thoroughly reviewed the job opening and took the time and effort to create a resume for that particular post. Aside from exuding a genuine interest in the position, tailoring your resume can serve as a testament to the diligence they can expect from you on the job.

4. It Ensures You Make the Right Impression

Using a generic resume can be construed as a lack of interest in the position or not exerting enough effort. The employer may think you are not as enthusiastic about the job if you’re unwilling to put in the work for your resume.

A tailored resume gives the employer the impression that you are willing to take on the job and are also concerned about their needs. It paints a better picture of what it would be like to have you on their team.  

5. It Gives You an Edge Over Other Applicants

Firms can receive hundreds of job applications for one opening, which recruiters have to sort through and select potential candidates. At this point in the hiring process, generic resumes are usually the first to be discarded since they fail to showcase specific qualifications for the role.  

Untailored resumes are less likely to stand out in a pool of applications since several other applicants can also make the same generic claims. Tailoring your resume based on the job description allows you to be very distinct about the skills and experience you have that make you an ideal candidate.  

How To Tailor a Resume to a Position

If you already have an existing resume template with your general information and education, tailoring your resume does not mean you have to redo it completely. The goal of tailoring your resume is to show that you have relevant qualifications for the job at hand. 

You can tailor your resume to a position by doing the following steps:

1. Review the Job Description

Job descriptions outline the duties, functions, and responsibilities the employee is expected to fulfill. It should also include requirements in terms of skills and experience. A good job description will also explain how the employee’s role impacts the company’s mission and vision.  

You need to review the job description thoroughly to ensure you meet the qualifications and have what it takes to succeed at the job. Take note of all the keywords in the job description that align with your skills and qualities.  

The objective here is to gauge how well you’ll be able to execute the job and if the company goals match your values.

2. Match Your Resume With What the Company Needs

The job description will serve as your guide on how to create your resume. Use the job description as a checklist to ensure you include everything that makes you worthy of the position.

Your cover letter should indicate why you are an excellent candidate for the position based on your skill sets and experience. Moreover, you should also include a note of why you would like to work for the company and why its mission and vision appeal to you.

Make sure that you highlight your most relevant experience first and include any relevant accomplishments and any skills and qualifications the position requires.

3. Substantiate Your Claims

Any applicant can claim to be a perfect fit for the role, but you can substantiate your claims by being very specific and highlighting your accomplishments through quantifiable measures. Just don’t overdo it by including accolades irrelevant to the job you’re vying for.  

Final Thoughts

Employers prefer tailored resumes since they provide more personal information to help recruiters identify the right person for the job. Hence, tailoring a resume to a job position will significantly increase your chances of getting an interview.

If you are genuinely qualified for the role based on the job description, nothing should stop you from including all your relevant experience, skills, and qualities on your resume. 

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About The Author

Nathan Brunner
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Nathan Brunner is a labor market expert. He is a mathematician who graduated from EPFL.

He is the owner of Salarship, a job search engine where less-skilled candidates can find accessible employment opportunities.