How To Tailor Your Resume For a Specific Role

By Sophie Richards on 03 February 2021

How To Tailor Your Resume for a Specific Role
  • Resumes must be fit-for-purpose for the role

  • Isolate keywords and phrases in the job description

  • Consider automated shortlisting when preparing resumes

Before applying for a new job - be it in the defence industry or otherwise - it’s important to tailor your resume to the specific role description outlined in the job advertisement. While it might seem time-consuming, the results are well and truly worth the effort and much more likely to secure you an interview.

Recruiters and hiring managers want to be able to see (easily) how your experience matches what they are looking for, and although they know that most candidates are not perfectly made-to-measure, they don’t want to have to be a detective to understand your applicable skills and experience. You should always keep a master copy of your resume, but here are our top 4 tips for customising your resume for a specific role.

1. Look for keywords and phrases.

The best way to highlight your suitability is to shape your resume around the job description and the specified needs and priorities highlighted by the company.

Identify key themes, soft skills and phrases in the job description e.g. If the role advertisement mentions teamwork at the top of the job description and goes on to reference it in different iterations throughout the text, then that’s an area you’ll want to emphasise strongly and regularly throughout your resume.

2. Emphasise your relevant experience.

When compiling your job experience for your resume, it is crucial to prioritise and highlight experiences that directly align with the requirements of the position. You’re not going to include the fast-food job that you worked when you were sixteen for the role of a project manager, are you?

If possible, try to quantify your achievements in the areas you identify as key themes and add a layer of tangible impact you’ve had in your previous positions. Instead of general statements, try to use numbers, percentages, or other measurable metrics. Then you can condense the details of roles that might not have many applicable skills.

3. Resumes with precision.

All recruiters and hiring managers appreciate specific details when assessing a resume, especially when it’s for a role in the defence industry. Any extra information you provide in this regard can separate you from the competition.

In the case of the defence industry, this includes ranks, exact job titles, as well as specific projects and systems you have worked on. Avoid vague management speak that deals in generalities and buzzwords.

Clear and concise communication with purposeful wording is well received, enhancing the process for both the recruiter and the candidate. Use facts, figures, examples, and stories where possible to bolster your ‘experience’ by providing solid evidence that verifies your capabilities.

4. The rise of automated shortlisting.

Tailoring your resume with specific keywords is becoming increasingly vital as artificial intelligence (AI) takes over parts of the candidate shortlisting progress. Using relevant keywords and phrases is becoming fundamental.

While the machines haven’t completely replaced us just yet, new technologies are making the process significantly more efficient and user-friendly for both recruiters and candidates alike, integrating technologies such as machine learning or predictive algorithms to dramatically reduce the time-consuming or resource-intensive aspects for those in charge of hiring.

AI screening platforms can process thousands of applications instantly and return qualified candidates. If your resume fudges or omits certain wording, an algorithm might not pick up your experience despite you being a strong candidate for the role.


For more advice on job hunting and applying for roles, contact us today!


Photo by Camille Orgel on Unsplash

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