This is Why Customizing Your Resume is Good Practice

Resumes usually follow a certain format and structure, but with job hunting season afoot, should you send the same thing to every company you are applying for? 

Did you know that according to a study done by JobStreet, a Human Resources (HR) staff takes only 30 seconds to review each resume? That’s a very, very short amount of time—which means that resumes that do not stand out risk being set aside. What’s more, given the numerous applications that companies get on a daily basis, chances are, they have a keen eye for copy-pasted and clichéd documents. 

So how can you make sure that your resume stands out? While we at The Business Manual have previously written about the dos and don’ts of writing a resume, there is one question that we have yet to answer: should you customize your resume with every job application you make? 

The answer to that? Yes, you should. And here’s why. 

Tailoring Your Resume to Fit the Company

Just as all companies and employers are different, their requirements vary. After all, each company runs differently and has its own needs, objectives, and values. These are the things you need to highlight in your resume to get the job.

Instead of giving companies a bland, generic document about you and your credentials, it is highly important to sell yourself to them by highlighting what you can bring to the table. “A hiring manager is always looking for people who can add value to the company, which is why it is necessary to do your research, know their preferences, and customize your resume and cover letter accordingly,” says JobStreet. 

This is why you’ll want to show HR that you’re the right fit for the job. And here’s the thing—you won’t be able to do this if you include details that aren’t relevant to the job you’re applying for. How? By making sure that all relevant experience and skills are front and center when writing your resume. 

For example, let’s say you’re applying for a social media-related job. It is best to highlight all relevant experience and skills related to it, such as photo editing, and copywriting, along with any previous jobs and accomplishments that are in line with what you’re applying for.

Stand Out for the Right Reasons, Not the Wrong Ones

The goal of sending your resume to a company is to establish a long-term relationship with them, as you want to be part of the company. This is why it is important not to be half-hearted from the very beginning and to start off on the right foot.

But before anything else, doing your research when applying for a job is very important, as this will help you determine what kind of resume you should submit to a particular company.

For example, some companies don’t mind when applicants submit resumes with colorful layouts. On the other hand, some companies are more traditional and expect an equally traditional black-and-white resume. Researching the company will help you avoid making the mistake of submitting a Canva-designed resume to a company that is expecting a simple Word document. 

Moreover, doing your research on the company and position that you’re interested in applying for also helps you determine early on if you’re a good fit. After all, you do not want to stand out in the eyes of HR because you applied for a job that you don’t have the right skills and experience for. Take note that job postings will always highlight what skills they are looking for and what experience is needed for a position, so it’s better to take note of those and highlight what applies to your resume. 

Professionalism is Key

As important as it is for your resume to stand out, it is just as important that you remain professional in it, too. This means that inaccurate or distasteful details have no place in your resume.

Aside from being factual and accurate, you should always make sure to edit and proofread your resume before submitting it. Do not use a selfie for your resume’s photograph and use a neat and legible font so that the text will not be difficult to read. 

Add What Makes You…You

While it is tempting to include anything and everything in the hopes that it will make you more enticing in the eyes of HR and your possible future employer, you should make the effort to determine what is necessary to keep and what should be deleted from your resume. 

Avoid mass sending the same copy of your resume to multiple companies, as the information you’ve included in it may not be what some companies are looking for. Instead, do your research on each company and tailor your resume based on what you’ve learned and seen.

At the end of the day, your resume is your story. It showcases your skills, work experience, and why the company should hire you over everyone else. As an applicant, you will always want to highlight the best of you. Your resume should reflect this. 

Why You Should Customize Your Resume

Numbers show that only 3% of resumes that a company receives from job applicants actually result in job interviews. As an applicant, you want to be part of that 3% and customizing your resume to fit what the company is looking for will help you achieve this.

It will help you stand out as the applicant the company is looking for because it will contain all relevant information instead of just a generic document that does not say much about you. Highlighting relevant skills and experience will show that you are well-suited for the job, which will increase your chances of progressing in the application process.