How Do I Tailor My Resumé to a Specific Job?

By Vancouver Island University Modified on November 14, 2022
Tags : Careers

Check out VIU's top tips for how you can impress employers with your resumé.

 How Do I Tailor My Resumé to a Specific Job?

Paula Deering, a Career Services Officer at Vancouver Island University, addresses your top questions about applying to jobs. One of the questions that is asked frequently is how to best tailor a resumé to a specific job to increase the chances of getting called for an interview.

Preparing your resumé

Think of the job posting as the employer’s “wish list.” With that in mind, don't be afraid to apply if you don’t fulfill the entire wish list. If you feel confident that the job is a fit, you are motivated to do the job and feel that you have the skills to get the work done, apply!

In the resumé, your objective is to show the employer all the ways that you meet their needs. The employer wants to know three things:

  • Can you do the job?
  • Will you do the job?
  • Does the partnership align?

The posting tells you about the job opportunity as well as the required skills, experience, and qualifications the employer is hoping to find. Study the job posting and compare your transferrable skills and graduate attributes to the skills the employer is asking for. Narrow down your most impactful skills and showcase the accomplishments that give you an edge and set you apart from other candidates. Try to use the same language as the job posting and make use of keywords, but be honest in all instances. Use the STAR Method (come see us at the Career Studio to learn more) to build strong impact statements that describe actions and responsibilities from previous roles.

A well-designed resumé that highlights your fit for the role and clearly demonstrates your value will increase your chances of getting the interview. Remember — a resumé is about you, but it is not meant for you!

Tips for getting started

Here’s what you can do to start tailoring your resumé:

1. Find a job posting that interests you and print it out.

2. Review the details of the job including duties, required skills and qualifications, education, and personal suitability.

3. Highlight the keywords and skills that the employer is asking for. Make sure to watch for ALL requests the employer has made in the posting.

4. Use a pen or another highlighter to mark the transferable skills, credentials, and all qualifications that you possess.

5. Make sure to follow any instructions provided in the posting.

6. Have a second set of eyes review your resumé to ensure it is error-free!

With these tips in mind, you’re sure to impress the employers with your resumé! Make sure you take advantage of the support and resources from the Career Studio, and good luck job hunting!

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