Custom Resume Writing – Tailoring Your Success


south-park-suitMuch like changing clothes, we often change careers and direction in life.  Each time we switch we have to project a different image depending on the job, career, or business we pursue.  If you were an engineer before and now you want to become a music teacher, they’re not going to care that you can draw bridges.  They’re going to care if you are able to inspire and teach children music.

From that angle, whenever you’re applying for a job you need to stop and ask yourself:

“What is this employers’ ideal candidate and how can I fit that mold?”

Remember a job is a specific set of tasks that an employer desires. Therefore the employer is looking at you for specific traits, nothing more. Some jobs, especially in advanced fields, do require a wider breadth of ability, but the principle is the same.

I was awoken to this when I brought my resume to a Robert Half Finance career adviser after college. I handed her my resume and said that I’d like to become a financial analyst. This is what she said:

“Ryan you’ve accomplished quite a bit for your age and you have a lot of things you’re doing, that’s great and all, but your future employer doesn’t care that you marched in the Rose Bowl Parade, spoke at SIFE nationals, or build websites, they simply want to know if you can crunch numbers and help their bottom line. Did marching in the rose bowl parade teach you how to do this?”

Feeling dumb, I agreed with her and conceeded her point.

Each employer wants something different so you need to demonstrate your value accordingly. Even within the same job or industry, employers want different things. That’s why it’s best to often call ahead and ask what an ideal candidate may be.  What is their company culture like, do they value teamwork, are you suppose to be self sufficient, what exact job tasks will you have?

Here’s a couple ways to change the resume around to act accordingly.

Don’t be afraid to take off things even if they’re important to you. You may have a lot of pride in some of your accomplishments, much like I did in marching in the Rose Bowl Parade, but in the end, your employer doesn’t really care and it’s just more fluff to sift through.

Create a “related job experience” section rather than just listing all your jobs. List relevant jobs to this position rather than a complete glossary of your work experience.

Demonstrate value by things you’ve actually done, not vague statements. For example you could say, “sold $2 million in residential real estate where the median home value is $167,000,” rather than simply saying “sold real estate.”

Give examples of how you’ve accomplished something similar to what they’re looking for. If they’re looking for an accountant they won’t care about your sales background.  Simply tell them how good you are at crunching numbers, and more importantly how you can make or save them money by doing so.

In the end each resume you make for each company is going to be different.  This takes a considerable amount of work, but the rewards will be better since each employer will be more easily able to recognize the value you present to their business.

As you’re building that resume for your next employer remember to keep in mind one simple question.

“How am I demonstrating my value to this particular employer?”

Differentiate your resumes by employer, much like I differentiated these South Park images of myself, and you’ll be a more competitive hire.

How do you differentiate your resumes?  Do you have any tricks you’d like to share?

If you’d like to build yourself as a South Park character much like I did with the images in this article you can do so at



[…] Get That Trophy Job 1. Quitting your current job 2. Deciding on what you’d like to do 3. Finding a potential employer 4. Custom resume writing, tailoring for success […]

The Simple Machine
Trying to appease to what the company is looking for has never worked for me. The problem with that theory is the underlying assumption that everyone at that company has similar values (which is generally not the case). Depending on what you are looking for, I would go so far as to say that you want to stand out in positive light and not just look like their average employee. I wrote a couple posts that link with this topic at my blog, that I hope help people. How to interact with headhunters @ Estimating your next salary raise… Read more »

Specifics are the way to go on a resume, they prove you have the ability to achieve targeted goals. Plus this way when you go to your interview, you know you can control the questions as they will be focused on all your achievements.