3 Best Ways To Customize Your Resume


shutterstock_242989903Customization is key. Never before have those three words applied more to the job market. Today, recruiters and hiring managers aren’t looking for resumes with generic experience; they’re looking for job seekers with resumes that directly relate to the role being filled.

In fact, 87 percent of the 411 HR professionals surveyed by SHRM in March 2014 described having a resume “tailored to the job” as either important or very important in their decision-making process.

OK, so you need to tailor your resume. But how?

Here are three ways to successfully customize your resume that will help you land the job of your dreams:

1. Keywords

While this suggestion is probably the most obvious, it’s also the most important. In order to make the biggest impact on the reader, your resume needs to read like you’re answering the job description directly.

Consider each bullet point in the job description as an opportunity to customize your resume. Think about the main word in each “duty” listed and how you can incorporate that keyword into your resume. Use the organization’s word choice as the foundation for your writing to decrease the likelihood your resume will be screened out by a human or automated resume reviewer.

For example, if the job duties include a phrase like “develop programs designed to create and maintain a favorable public image for the employer or client,” your resume should include words like “favorable public image.” Remember, you’re trying to land an interview, so you need to show the resume reviewer you have the skills to make an impact.

2. Statistics

Another great way to catch a hiring manager’s eye is by incorporating statistics into your resume. Statistics make it easier for a hiring manager to understand the impact of your accomplishments and visualize how you can make a similar impact at their organization.

Hiring managers see bullet points like “increased sales” or “decreased time-to-hire,” and immediately think, Was the increase substantial?

Instead of leaving hiring managers wondering, show them just how effective you were by proactively incorporating those statistics into your resume. Use phrases like “increased sales 10% year-over-year” or “decreased time-to-hire by 25% in 8 months” to make an impression that will last.

The real key to this strategy is to customize your statistics to make them count. Just like with the keywords you choose, make sure the statistics you choose are things the organization is seeking.

If the position’s main requirement is to manage and grow a sales list or recruit and develop a pool of potential candidates, focus on using statistics that show your ability to do those things. Use statistics that highlight how you “generated 10-12 original sales leads per week” or “added 3-5 pre-screened, well-qualified candidates to the company’s talent pool per day.”

These kinds of statistics, customized to match each organization’s needs, show hiring managers what you can do rather than just telling them.

3. Tone

You’ve done your research and crafted your resume to include as many keywords and relevant statistics as possible. What now?

Now it’s time to think about tone.

When you researched the company, what tone did their materials take? Did the organization seem more laid back and creative or buttoned-up and traditional? Did the job description seem like a template, or was it eye-catching and attention grabbing?

Answers to these questions can help you determine what tone you should take in both your resume and cover letter. Nowadays, some organizations are putting more emphasis on culture fit over skills, so taking some time to understand the company culture and how you fit in is a must before sending in your resume.

When you’re customizing your resume, think about the organization’s needs and what they might be focusing on while making their decision. Then, use that information to match the tone of your resume with that of the job description.

If the job posting is traditional and focused on deliverables (like many “duties-driven” postings tend to be), put the important statistics and relevant job duties near the top of your resume and write bullets that address those particular skills. If the job posting is more eye-catching and creative, get creative with your resume layout and don’t be as rigid with your writing.

What other strategies do you use to customize your resume?

Personal Branding Blog – Stand Out In Your Career


UPDATE: 5 Ways to Customize your Facebook Page for the Holidays

Posted by Chelsea Hejny on 30 Sep 2015 / 0 Comment

Note: This post has been updated to reflect Facebook layout changes as of September 2015.

1. Cover Photo: When a Facebook user lands on your business’s Facebook Page, the cover photo is the “main event.” It is a massive piece of Timeline real estate (851 x 315 pixels) that immediately changes the mood of a Facebook Page when it’s updated.

To coordinate with the holiday season, design a cover photo–or multiple cover photos–and change them as each season or holiday passes. Make your cover photos representative of your brand, but altered to reflect the season. We recommend playing with fall and winter colors or adding traditional holiday images like leaves and snowflakes.

2. Profile Photo: A lot of businesses have had the same profile photo of their logo since they created their Facebook Page, which is a shame because your profile photo is a major asset that can be used to complement your cover photo. Even if your brand is resistant to changing the profile photo to something other than the company logo, there are still ways to create a holiday-themed profile using the logo.

Again, experiment with holiday-inspired colors, and if you can get more creative, integrate a prop into your logo design. For example, with ShortStack’s Facebook Page, depending on the holiday, we create an image of Jack (ShortStack’s company mascot and logo) in festive attire or holding a holiday-specific object.

The new size for profile photos, as of September 2015, is 90×90.

3. App Thumbnails: Facebook app thumbnails are often the most neglected features on Facebook brand Pages. Thumbnails are located on the left side of the Timeline underneath the “About” section. There are three 111 x 74 pixels custom app thumbnails to work with to inspire the holiday mood on your Page.

Of course Facebook apps is where you should be leveraging all of your marketing promotions and contests. Make sure you’re featuring your top three apps in this section.

4. Photo Status Updates: During your business’s holiday promotional period, be thoughtful about the content you post. Including great holiday-themed graphics will be key in attracting fans to your Facebook Page.

Keep in mind: When you post a status update with a photo, the photo within the post will be featured on your Timeline at 470 x 470 pixels.

5. Facebook Advertisements: If your business has yet to invest in Facebook advertising, this holiday season is the time do so. The best way to get your feet wet is to set a budget, create a few different ads, and then implement some A/B testing to see what works best. Make sure you’re building the kinds of landing pages that are most likely to convert. 

Also, don’t forget about experimenting with paying for promoted posts, sponsored stories and Facebook Offers. These are all effective forms of Facebook advertising that should be experimented with throughout the season.

Does your business plan to update your Facebook Page’s design for the holiday season? If so, tweet us how at @shortstacklab.