How to Tailor Your Resume to a Job

If you’ve ever sought any resume advice, you’ve probably been told to tailor your resume to the job you’re applying to. 

But what exactly does this mean, why is it important, and how do you do it? 

Crafting a tailored resume is more than just listing your qualifications and experiences. It’s about strategically showing how your skills align with what an employer is looking for. A customized resume can make all the difference in a competitive job market and help you land the job you want.

Tailoring your resume to a job

Tailoring your resume = customizing it for each job you apply for. 

Of course, this doesn’t necessarily mean starting from scratch every time you apply to a job. But it does mean taking the time to understand each role and how you fulfill what they are looking for. Even small changes to your resume can help you prioritize your most impactful experiences. 

Step 1: Read the job description.

Before you refine your resume, it’s important to review the details of the job description. Think of it as your roadmap—it outlines precisely what you need to have in order to get the job.

Pay close attention to the skills, qualifications, and required experiences. Look for recurring keywords and phrases, as these provide valuable insight into the employer’s priorities.

Remember, even positions with the same job titles can vary. So, what worked for one application may not necessarily apply to another. Approach each job description with fresh eyes.

Step 2: Identify your matching skills and experiences. 

Now that you’re familiar with the job description, it’s time to assess how your own skills and experiences stack up against the requirements. 

Start by listing all your relevant skills, qualifications, and experiences. Think about your previous roles, projects you’ve worked on, and any accomplishments you’ve achieved. Consider both hard skills and soft skills.

As you compile your list, compare it to the key requirements and qualifications specified in the job description. Highlight the experiences and skills that match or closely align with the employer’s needs. You’ll want to emphasize these aspects of your background on your tailored resume.

It’s okay if you don’t have a perfect match for every requirement in the job description. Focus on your strongest qualifications and experiences that demonstrate your ability to succeed in the role.

Step 3: Make adjustments to your resume. 

Now that you’ve identified your matching skills and experiences, it’s time to tweak your resume to showcase them. 

Work experience

Review your work experience section and swap out responsibility and accomplishment bullet points to demonstrate your proficiency in key areas outlined in the job description. Quantify your achievements whenever possible and provide concrete evidence of your impact in previous roles. 


Include relevant educational qualifications, certifications, and training programs that support your candidacy for the position. If you have limited work experience, emphasize academic achievements, projects, or extracurricular activities that demonstrate relevant skills and competencies.


Look at the required skills in the job description. Go through them one by one to make sure that they are showcased in a dedicated skills section or integrated throughout the resume where applicable. 

Tips for customizing your resume

Here are some things to keep in mind as you work on tailoring your resume.

Use your resume buzzwords wisely

Strategically incorporating keywords from the job description into your resume can significantly boost its effectiveness and catch the attention of applicant tracking systems (ATS) and human recruiters alike. 

Scan the job description for prominently mentioned key terms, phrases, and skills and ensure that they are seamlessly integrated throughout your resume. 

Pro tip: Be careful not to overstuff your resume with keywords. This can make it appear unnatural and may raise red flags for recruiters. Instead, focus on using keywords within the context of your relevant skills, experiences, and accomplishments.

Keep it honest

We’ll keep this section short: Don’t lie on your resume! If you don’t have the skills or experience, don’t include it.

Customize your resume to get the job you want

Tailoring your resume to a job description is a strategic approach that can help you land an interview and, ultimately, your desired position. 

By understanding the job description, identifying your matching skills and experiences, and customizing your resume accordingly, you demonstrate to employers that you’re a qualified candidate who understands the role and company.