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Asked by Srividya on March 21, 2017

How can I build my resume based around a particular job description? I know you're supposed to tailor your resume to each position, so how do I do that?

Answered by Ellee, Hiring Expert at Textron Inc., on March 23, 2017

Hello! That is a great question! It is important to tailor your resume to match the position you are applying to for a few reasons. The first reason being that it shows you are serious about the job you are applying to and that you are interested in the role. The second is that you can highlight your skills and qualifications that meet the requirements for the position through your resume. I would recommend reviewing the job description and look for the responsibilities and qualifications that you have experience with and decide which ones you believe are the most important to highlight. When you write the bullet points for your resume, be sure to discuss past projects or work experiences that relate to the qualifications and responsibilities for the role. If you can quantify your bullets and use numbers and dollars, that will help your bullet points stand out. Best of luck!

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Answered by Stuart, Hiring Expert at Gap Inc., on March 28, 2017

Hello!
Great question. When we say tailor your resume to a particular job it does not mean you need to start over from scratch.  If you have a current resume, as Ellee points out, it is a matter of highlighting your most relatable experiences to the job. Also if the job description mentions experience with specific software programs, or other experiences you should include how you used them in your resume vs. just a bullet point that says "proficient in Microsoft excel." 

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Answered by Traci, Hiring Expert at Accenture, on March 30, 2017

I often tell potential candidates that it’s a great idea to have a few versions of their resume saved for use in various industries, so my advice to you is the same, but a word of caution as well. Do not tailor a resume to the point that you have ruined it. Tailoring a resume does not mean that you need to be a different person on each, but rather, highlight your skills in a different way if you think its necessary. A great place to start is the job description for the position your looking to apply to. What is it that the position demands of the candidate? What amount of time is devoted to certain aspects of the position on an annual basis? If you have some of these skills, but they aren’t highlighted on your resume, or you could possibly expand up on them, go ahead. This might mean removing some less relevant information in order to maintain that one page resume, so be smart with what you add and remove. I will repeat, do not change who you are on this piece of paper to appease a description or a hiring manager/recruiter. Your skills and experience are what the are and you have no doubt worked hard for that. Allow your experience to speak for itself, but if you can help by emphasizing what they have asked for in a candidate, great idea. One last word of caution – tailoring your resume can very quickly get out of hand by taking liberties with skills and experience that aren’t exactly truthful. Never put anything on your resume that is untrue or even an exaggeration that you aren’t able to back up when asked. This can turn a great conversation in an interview sour very quickly!

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