Job hunting is a tedious and time consuming process demanding a high degree of patience. But hoping to secure a job by applying for numerous positions with the same resume is like building castle in the air. Unless you're only interested in one specific job in one specific organization, submitting one resume for all postings is an exercise in futility. Each organization is different, and so are the job positions.
The position of a customer service assistant at ABC Company might require a completely different set of skills and qualifications from the position of a customer service assistant at XYZ Inc. Therefore, submitting a generic resume for both the companies can be like trying to chase two rabbits at once – you end up catching none. Recruiters have developed the competence to scan your resume within 10 seconds, or even less. They receive thousands of resumes for one vacant job position and henceforth, it's all about leaving your mark, and building a good impression. After all, you don't get a second chance to create the first impression!
Three quick steps to customize your resume
Don't worry. We aren't telling you to re-write your entire resume every time you apply for a job. But, before impulsively hitting the 'send' and/or 'apply' button, you might want to ensure you get past the hurdle of initial screening. Certain tweaks in your resume, as listed below, might help you in doing so:
Analyze and review the published job description
Job descriptions are posted by the employers to let you know what they are looking for in a candidate. This is an open book test for you. Always review the job description to see what credentials are vital before responding to a vacancy announcement. The vacancy notice will usually provide information on the job title, duties and responsibilities, and the specific set of skills required to perform the job. If you really do not match the recruiters' requirements, do not invest your time applying for it.
Highlight your matching skills
Job vacancies give you a general idea about the key skills needed for the job. Acknowledge your skills and match them with their requirements. Then highlight the key phrases as 'highly motivated', or 'ability to work odd hours', or 'HTML/Java experience' to match the employers' needs. It will leave a better impression on the employer in finding exactly what they've been looking for in a candidate. However, make sure you possess the stated skills and can defend your answers when asked in an interview.
Customize your experiences and skills to match job description
Rightly customizing your work experiences and professional skills are the fundamentals of passing the screening hurdle. When you've meticulously examined all the necessary details from the vacancy posting, the next thing you should be doing is tailoring your resume to fit in the recruiters' requirements. For example, let us say a vacancy posting demands the following requirement: "Advanced knowledge of Microsoft Excel and SPSS statistical analysis required." In such case, if your original resume says you're "a proficient user of Microsoft Office packages and statistical applications", then you would want to try adjusting your resume to match the description as: "Proven expert of major spreadsheet programs viz Microsoft Excel, LibreOffice Calc and Gnumeric, and statistical analysis applications as Analytica and SPSS." Whenever possible, quantify your skills to best match the interest of the employers, given that you have ample evidence to back up your statement. "Increased sales by 120% in just six months" will always create a better impact than simply mentioning adjectives like "hardworking, dedicated, committed and result-oriented." It will show that you are not just throwing generalities around.
With these three quick steps for adjustments in your resume, your chances of getting called for an initial interview go up. Good luck with your customization!