You’ve heard it time and again – every application must be ‘tailored’ to the position.

 

But for most of us, the thought of updating a resume, even if for an exciting opportunity, makes you freeze with overwhelm.

Before you go into excuses of how your slow operating laptop is on the fritz or how you need to drive the kids to soccer tonight, consider this flip in perspective. It’s not about changing your resume to fit a job, it’s about targeting the employer’s needs!

 

What challenge or problem is the employer aiming to solve with this position?

 

By organizing the employers needs with this Targeted Skills Worksheet, you can shine a spotlight on how your unique combination of experience and skills will generate the perfect solution.

Download this FREE Targeted Skills Worksheet and you will have everything you need to get started:

 

Here’s how to use the Targeted Skills Worksheet to target your resume and cover letter with ease.

 

STEP 1: Assess the job posting

Review the job posting. List all the requirements for the positions in the left column of the worksheet under ‘Job Requirements’.  For ease later, try to group quantifiable skills (hard skills) like education, training, qualifications, credentials, and minimum industry experience, and interpersonal skills (soft skills) like, communication, leadership, organization, relationship-building, team building. 

 

STEP 2: Assess your resume

Match all the quantifiable skills, interpersonal skills, and experiences on-the-job or in the community that align with those in the job posting, listing them in the right column of the worksheet under ‘Skills and Experience’

 

STEP 3: Identify your value-add

Compare the two columns, circling or highlighting the skills that match in each column. List all the top 4 or 5 matching skills in the bottom row. On page 2 of the worksheet, write a validating example or story of when you have demonstrated or achieved each of these top skills. Use descriptive words (or titles) to help you recognize and remember each experience or event. 

 

STEP 4: Update your resume and cover letter

Using the stories on page 2, ‘copy & paste’ or write each into your current resume and cover letter as you see fit. Be sure to frame each in example to showcase how “this skill / experience is how I will add value to your company, organization, or team.

 

And here are two tips to help you along the way:

  • Missing requirements from a job posting? Consider alternative or related expertise you have to offset any discrepancies between the lists and include these in the matching skills section and story section to ensure your cover letter addresses it upfront.
  • Want to speed up the process? Once you complete Step 2, save as a master file. Then for each job application, you only need to update the left column with information from the job posting, and match the appropriate skills.

To really help this system work in your favour, ensure you have a strong resume and cover letter to start with.  Book a free initial consultation with me to see how I can help you prepare an customizable professional resume and cover letter.