June 27, 2017

The 3-Step Guide to Building an Irresistable, Tailored Resume

What’s the most tiring part of the job application process for you? Is it searching for jobs? Writing your cover letter? Prepping for interviews?

For me, taking the time to fix up each resume is a bit tiring. If I’m being honest with you, tailoring each resume to the job you’re applying for is not fun — but it can be well worth it in the end.

Tailoring your resume is necessary when you have experience in a lot of different fields, or you intend on applying to jobs in a variety of industries.

Well, I want to give you a step-by-step tutorial on how to tailor your resume effectively so that when you apply for jobs, your resume is relevant to the employer and your chance of getting the job increases.

Here is an infographic for you visual learners 🙂
tailored resume infographic

Step Number One: Create A Master Resume (vitae)
tailored resume infographic step one

Your Master Resume should be long, detailed, and include all of your experience –just like a vitae. It should include all of your accomplishments, all of your job positions, all of the leadership roles you’ve had, and all of the job duties you’ve ever had.
Your master resume is important for a couple of reasons:

  1.  It helps you keep track of all of the work you’ve done and accomplished – If you’ve been away from a position for awhile, you may forget the details of what you did in the position and tasks that you completed. For this reason, it is important to update your master resume with all the job duties you have completed.
  2.  It keeps all of your job information in one spot – If you have different positions listed on different resumes, it’s easy to forget some positions or leave things out when applying for jobs. Keeping all of this in one spot makes the job application process more organized and less hectic.
  3. It keeps you encouraged –When you start applying for jobs, you may not find a position as quickly as you would like. Keeping your master resume handy gives you a constant reminder of all the jobs you’ve succeeded at and all of the things you’ve accomplished.

Your Master Resume should be extensive. Don’t hesitate to add minor job duties that you completed. You want to compile everything so that when you need to reference what you’ve done in a position, all of it is right there at your disposal.

On average, your Master Resume will likely be 2+ pages, and each job position could have 10+ bullet points (just depending on the type of work you did, how long you’ve been working, where you’re at in your career, etc).

Once you’ve created your Master Resume it will serve as a template to help you tailor your more specific resumes. It will look a little something like this (but with your own formatting and experiences, of course):

Example Resume 1

Example Resume 2

Example Resume 3

Notice that each specific job has a longggg list of duties (which should be shortened in your final version), and the resume includes a wide variety of tasks that may or may not be relevant. This is exactly how yours should be as well.

TIP: Save two copies of your Master Resume on your computer so you don’t accidentally save over it in the next steps.

Step Number Two: Boil Down Your Master Resume Into A Couple Industry-Specific Resumes

tailored resume infographic step 2
This part is pretty simple.

  1. Pick an Industry in Which You Will be Applying In (e.g. Marketing, Human Resources, Mechanical Engineering, Consulting, Higher Education, Law,  etc.)
  2. Open Up Your Master Resume
  3. Save as a new document (the title should be whatever the industry is, e.g. Azani Fitten Marketing Resume Template)
  4. Delete everything from the resume that does not relate to that industry or is not a recent position.

Of course, the further you get in your career and the more you know the type of position you’re looking for, the less time you’ll need to spend on this step (i.e. if you KNOW you are looking specifically for a job as a Human Resources Director, then you won’t need to have multiple industry-specific resumes because you’ll only be applying in one industry).

A couple of rules of thumb for this section:

  • Keep any and all current positions you are in, even if they are not relevant
  • Keep any and all positions that showcase skills that you’ll need for a certain industry

If you are applying to jobs in multiple industries, you’ll want to start this process again with the Master Resume and create a Template for each industry in which you will be applying.

This helps you so that if you’re applying for a job in one industry, you already have a resume with all of your related skills and experiences without having to sift through a lonnnng list of positions.

Once you’re done with this step, the final product should be something like the following:

Example Number One – Industry Specific Resume: Law (for jobs in the law field):



****Note how I kept jobs related to the law field, recent positions, and other positions that showcase my skillset

Example Number Two – Industry Specific Resume: Marketing/Communications (for jobs in the communications field):

Example Marketing Communications ResumeExample Marketing Communications Resume

Example Marketing Communications Resume


Step Number Three: Apply For Jobs, Tailor Your Resume

tailored resume infographic- step 3
Alright, the prep process for your tailored resumes are done.

So far, you should have a Master Resume with all of your awards, job duties, job titles, and anything else you would potentially include on a resume. You should have 1+ Industry-specific resumes that include information from the Master Resume relevant to the industries you’ll be applying to.

Now, your task as a job applicant is easy.

Once you find a job that you’d like to apply for, pull up your industry-specific resume (e.g. if you’re applying for a college recruiter, then pull up your Higher Education Resume Template).

From there, delete information that isn’t specifically relevant to the position, and cut your bullet lists down to 3-5 most important duties. Be sure that you are referencing the job description along the way. Once it’s down to either one full page or two full pages (see this article about the recommended length for a resume), hit “Save As” and then you can submit your resume.

Alright, you’ve completed the 3-step process to tailor your resume!

Keep this for later and download the infographic here: Tailored Resume Infographic

Stay tuned for more resume and interview tips!

Are there any other tips, tools or tricks you use to tailor your resume? Have any questions about the 3-step resume building process? Did it work for you? Leave comments below!

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