In fashion circles, the term pret-a-porter refers to clothes that are ready to wear when purchased. While there’s nothing wrong with off-the-rack clothing, there are several reasons why made-to-measure garments command a premium price:
- They offer a better fit
- They demonstrate a commitment to quality
- They allow the wearer to showcase their personal style better
- They reduce the amount of time spent shopping
When it comes to finding work, many of the same benefits of made-to-measure clothing apply to tailoring your resume for each and every position. If you want to ensure you earn a place amongst the shortlisted “Chanel” candidates instead of having your resume relegated to the ready-to-wear pile, careful customization is critical. Here are four simple steps for “Geppetto-ing” your way to a beautifully tailored resume.
Step 1: Compare Your Current Resume with the Job Description
Print out a copy of your resume and the job description and grab a highlighter. Highlight every matching skill, responsibility or keyword that you can find in both documents and give yourself a point for each. If your score seems a little on the low side, look for similarities that can be easily tweaked for a better match. For example, if the job description says problem-solving is a priority skill, and your resume lists creative thinking as one of your skills, tweak it to read creative problem solver.
If your resume includes a list of key skills, ensure those you have that the employer is looking for are featured at the top of the list. If your skills are highlighted in your experience section, ensure bullets that include the priority skills for the position appear first.
Step 2: Grab Their Attention From the Top
The best way to grab the gaze of busy recruiters and hiring managers as they scan your resume is to make your skills and your potential fit for the job stand out fast. Look at the top third of the first page of your resume and assess whether it will get the job done. If not, consider rewriting your profile to include keywords from the job description or adding a bulleted list of key skills before jumping into your work history.
Step 3: Enlist an Opinionated Proofreader
If you’ve been looking for a new position for some time, you’re probably getting sick of staring at your own resume. Often a fresh set of eyes can help identify opportunities for improvement that you may not see. Don’t just ask the person you’ve chosen to assist you with the task to look at your resume. Have them look at the job description first and then ask for their candid feedback on whether your resume is doing it all it can to sell you as a great candidate for the position.
Step 4: Ask For Your Recruiter’s Input
If you feel confident that you are a strong candidate for a specific position, but are concerned that your resume may be missing the mark, connect with your recruiter. Your recruiter knows the position inside and out and has a strong understanding of the priorities of the hiring company. A brief conversation can help identify opportunities for simple tweaks that will highlight your fit for the position.
If you’d like additional tips and tricks for creating a winning resume, check out: