How to Write a Job-Specific Resume
Fancy/Veer/Corbis via Getty Images
An effective résumé shows that a candidate is eminently qualified for a job for which he or she is applying. So it's crucial to rework your résumé for each job for which you are applying, using key words from the job announcement. Here are some tips:
Once you've identified a target job, print the job announcement and highlight key words throughout: in the job description, responsibilities, and requirements/qualifications. Key words might be verbs like “create, manage, develop, implement, lead, control”; skills like “communication skills, organizational skills, project management”; subject-matter nouns such as “veterans, cyber, telecommunications”; and qualifications like “security clearance or MBA.” Then look at your networking (general) résumé and highlight any matching key words. Check those off from the job announcement.
[RELATED: MOAA's Transition and Career Center]
For remaining key words, if you have those skills, experience, or subject-matter expertise but have used different words, change your original word to the verbatim key word from the announcement, and/or add bullets to the appropriate section (i.e., summary, experience, education, volunteer experience) to indicate that quality. Remove any content that is irrelevant to the job.
If you are not actively job searching but will begin in the next year, start looking at job announcements for target jobs now. You probably will begin to see some consistency in what organizations are looking for in a particular occupation. This is a great time to identify shortfalls and ask for special assignments at work or look for volunteer opportunities to fill in résumé gaps.
You can find thousands of job announcements on MOAA's job board.