How to tailor your resume to the job you want

Take the frustration out of interviewing for jobs you’ll never get, by tailoring your resume to the roles you really want.

As a working mother, you can’t afford to waste precious time on interviews for roles you don’t stand a hope of landing. Like all job hunters, you want to find your ideal job as quickly and easily as possible.

And the first step to achieving this is reviewing your resume. Making some simple changes can help you stand out from other candidates – and let the right employer know you’re the perfect person for their role.

Here are some simple tips to help you revise your resume and sell the idea of you to an employer before they’ve even met you in person.

Make a template resume

You don’t need to reinvent the wheel every time you send out your resume. Instead, strip it down to its bare bones, and work out what every resume you send out will need to include.

Keep your template limited to the essentials, so you can craft your additional details in a way that will read as appealing to the HR professional that will ultimately review it.

Decipher the job description

A well written job description will be very specific. Take a look at sites like Gumtree, and read a few that are relevant to your desired field to get an idea of what employers are looking for.

You may feel tempted to extend the truth or tell outright lies to make it seem like you’re right for the employer – but never, ever do this. Lying will only put you in a bad position, and if you’re caught out on even the tiniest lie, it will undermine everything else you say.

If you get the job and you lied to land it, you may find yourself in over your head very quickly, too.

Instead, think about what the qualifications, experiences, and qualities the employer is looking for really mean – even if you need to interpret them through a broader lens.

Determine how you fit the bill

Out of your interpretations, what do you feel you have in common with their ideal candidate?

If their list includes 50 things, absolutely no one is going to encompass them all. So don’t worry if you don’t ft everything (and certainly don’t pass over the opportunity to apply for a job you love the sound of if you don’t match every requirement.)

Instead, pick a few attributes they’re looking for that you would consider your strong points, and start with those. And don’t try to seem like a superhuman – the company will know you aren’t. The goal is to really shine in the areas that connect with your personal abilities.

Elaborate on relevant experiences

When you’re putting customised information into your resume template, only focus on the things that are relevant to the employer. They know exactly what they’re looking for, and you could have it all, but if it’s buried among irrelevant information they’ll never know.

So cut out the fluff and get to the point. They want to know all about your two-year internship or role with a similar company, and nothing about your three-week trip to Africa.

Start by summarising your key points

In order to improve the chances of your resume being reviewed, summarise your key points at the top – and get their attention from the outset.

If you start out formal and dull, you’re going to get thrown into the discard pile without a second thought. So craft a summary that will give them a reason to care about who you are, and take you seriously.

So many people are under the impression that a resume is one-size-fits-all, and this couldn’t be further from the truth. While it takes a little more time and effort to tailor your resume for each employer, the payoff will hopefully be securing your dream job much faster.

Need more resume tips?

You’ll find more resume/CV advice in these articles:

Hannah Dickins is part of the team behind With a huge interest in writing and startup industry, she works as a Community Manager. She’s keen on new helpful online tools and productivity hacks.