Do I really have to edit or tailor my resume and cover letter for every job I want to apply to, and if so, how?

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Answered by: ByVirtualist career experts

Certainly!

However, that does not imply that you need to completely overhaul your resume and cover letter for each job application. The process is much simpler than that.

Most employers utilize Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to scan resumes and cover letters for specific keywords relevant to their job listings. Alternatively, human recruiters manually search the ATS for applications containing certain keywords that meet their criteria. Tailoring your resume and cover letter for each application involves incorporating a professional summary and a skills section at the top of your resume, which can be edited and updated to include keywords and key phrases from the job description. Similarly, certain sections of your cover letter should be rewritten to emphasize the key skills and qualifications outlined in the job description.

While it is unnecessary to rewrite your entire resume or cover letter, it is crucial to invest time in ensuring that your documents are keyword-rich, using language consistent with the job description. Select significant keywords from the job description that align with your experience and skills, and incorporate them into your resume and cover letter.

To understand how to tailor your resume for a specific job listing, you can refer to this downloadable PDF sample. The principles can also be applied to your cover letter.