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Customize for each position

In order to highlight the skills that make you the best fit for a particular position (and make it through applicant tracking software) you should customize your resume for each position for which you apply. A great way to do this is to create a master resume with all of your experience and skills statements. Then you can tailor your summary statement and pick and choose pertinent experience and skills statements and refine them to match each position for which you are applying.

When revising your resume for a particular position, you’ll want to review the position description carefully to identify the required skills and the language the employer uses to describe them. Incorporate the required skills, using the language the employer uses whenever possible, when creating a version of your resume for the position. Just make sure you’re being truthful about your skills and experience when you make these revisions. If your skills and experience don’t meet the position requirements, you likely shouldn’t apply.

Here’s a step-by-step way to target your resume for a particular position:

  1. Print the position description and your master resume or review them side by side on screen
  2. Read the position description and highlight what the most important skills and the industry keywords that are used
  3. Mark up your core resume to include the skills you have that match the most important skills on the job description
  4. Add to your resume any experience you have that includes the industry keywords that are prominent in the position description
  5. Target your summary statement to the job posting, using those same industry keywords and the most important skills you highlighted in the position description
  6. If important skills are listed in the posting several times, then use them throughout your resume a few times to increase the number of times the applicant tracking system finds them