goals + systems = success
Read time: 90 seconds
Today, I am going to share the process I use to customize my resume for each job application.
The job search struggle is real but tailoring your resume to each application doesn't have to be.
Once you have a strong foundation, it only takes a few minutes to customize each resume.
Think of the resume writing process as 2 parts.
Part 1 is the foundation. This is your generic resume.
Part 2 is the customization. This is the one you tailor for each job.
Here's how to get started on each:
Part 1: Create your foundation
1. Get clear on your secret sauce.
Maybe you have a clear idea of your professional brand, maybe you don't. Either way, spend some time reflecting on what makes YOU special:
- What do your friends, bosses, colleagues always compliment you on?
- What are you really good at?
- Lots of people have technical skills, but maybe how you bring people together is where you shine?
Take the themes generated here and weave them into your resume.
It's perfect for fleshing out a 3-4 sentence compelling professional summary.
2. Convert your current resume into a master template
No need to start from scratch. Build from what you have by taking your current resume and converting it into a master template with a simple "save-as" Master Resume.
Don't like your current format?
Switch it up now before you spend any time making updates.
Shoot for a template that is reverse chronological order with clear headers and plenty of white space (this helps with the applicant tracking system).
This is the one that I personally use.
3. Brain dump ALL your accomplishments
Don't worry about editing or perfection, just get your ideas down on paper.
For each job write down:
- What did you accomplish?
- What were you most proud of?
- Where did you go above and beyond?
- Data points:
- facts about the company (industry, ranking, size)
- scope and impact of your accomplishments (metrics, # people impacted, budget size, etc.)
Annual performance reviews are a great place to pull for this information. If you don't regularly track accomplishments for work, start now.
4. Edit and Refine
By now your resume may be super long and that's ok.
Don't worry about cutting anything out. Focus on taking your accomplishments and cleaning up the bullet points.
Steal Google's formula:
- "Accomplished [X] as measured by [Y], by doing [Z]."
- Add numerical context to elevate your accomplishments.
Part 2: Customize Your Resume
Now that you have this strong foundation, tailoring your resume takes minutes.
- Update professional title to match job posting
- Swap in key words from the job posting in the professional summary
- Tweak job titles to match role (Process Improvement Consultant = Green Belt)
- Select 3-4 relevant accomplishments and delete the rest
When I write resumes for clients, I set them up for this quick 'n easy process. Write once, repurpose 100 times.
Pro-Tip: If you find that you need more than 10 minutes to customize your resume, narrow your focus. Limit your job search scope to 1-2 job categories or industries. Specification wins.
See you again next week.
Whenever you are ready, there are 3 ways that I can help you:
1. Personally create a custom foundational resume for you here.
2. Set you up for success with the exact resume template I use.
3. Give you actionable feedback to perfect your resume with an audit.
p.s. I love newsletter suggestions. If you have a topic you'd like me to cover, just reply to this email and tell me about it. My digital door is always open!