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Tailoring Your Resume to a Specific Job

Landing a job can be a challenge when you live in a location with lots of job candidates and limited job openings. Tailoring your resume for a specific job can increase your interview chances by showing you’re the perfect candidate for the position.

Finding gainful and meaningful employment on or near a military installation can be a challenge. In a competitive job market, your resume will need to stand out against the competition. Tailor your resume to fit a specific position to make the difference between getting an interview and being overlooked. Here are some strategies to get you started.

Change the content of your resume to match specific keywords in the position description. Most recruiters hire for many job openings at the same time. They may not know the specifics of a particular position and don't typically make the final hiring decision. Recruiters complete the initial screening process and select multiple candidates who meet the position's requirements. One way recruiters narrow the list of candidates is by looking for specific keywords in a resume that match words in the position description. This may be done manually or with scanning software programmed to find certain keywords in a resume.

Study the company website. Companies want to know you have done your homework. Think about how your work with other organizations can apply to work you would do for a potential company. Infuse your resume with as much of the potential company's culture as you can when you describe your previous jobs.

Learn about occupational fields. Use the MySECO Research Occupations tool to learn about potential positions. This tool is particularly helpful when tailoring a resume because you can easily identify the skills and abilities required for a job, as well as the work activities you might be asked to complete. Positions often have more than one name, and this is a good tool to help you understand the position requirements.

Keep track of and highlight your relevant accomplishments. It's important to keep a list of your major accomplishments and skills. When creating a resume targeted to a specific job, it may be easier for you to select your relevant work experience or accomplishments from a list rather than trying to remember them off-hand.

Save your edited resumes. You may apply for many jobs in different occupations, or you may apply for a few jobs in a specific occupation. Every time you tailor your resume for a new occupation or position, save it as a different file. In the future, as you need a resume for a similar job, you may only need to rework the keywords to target your resume for the new job posting, which will save time.

Use the MilitaryINSTALLATIONS tool to search by installation, state or program to find an installation employment readiness specialist who can assist you, in person, with tailoring your resume. Select ‘Program or service’ from the drop-down menu, then select 'Spouse Education, Training and Careers' and enter your installation or postal code to find a point of contact near you.

Call Military OneSource at 800-342-9647 to contact a SECO career coach for valuable tips on tailoring your resume. For more information, view the Applications and Resumes article in the Employment Readiness lifecycle stage of MySECO. For additional guidance, use the Live Chat feature on the MySECO website. 

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