It’s about that time of the academic year where you might be applying to school or jobs or internships! Working on your resume can seem like a daunting task. If you’ve heard of the importance of tailoring your resume to better fit the different things you’re applying to, but you have no idea where to start, you might find these tips helpful. If you find yourself sending the same resume to multiple people, you’re not tailoring your resume enough! By doing this you show that you’ve taken the time to really think about what you’re applying for. Interested? Read on!
This section can be incredibly helpful to employers or admissions committees. It states what position or what type of work you’re interested in and why.
For example, you might write “A position in social science research, utilizing a background in psychology, research methods, and statistics.” If you can be as specific as possible in the least amount of words as possible, readers will know with one glance if you’re a good fit or not.
Quick tip for tailoring: Look at the job description or school program description and mirror the language. Check out their vision, mission statement, and purpose of the program or position. Include the exact name of the position or the degree name.
Areas of interest
This is usually seen as an optional section, but I highly recommend it. I’ve received a lot of positive feedback for including this section on my own resume. This section can be especially important for applying to schools or internships where skill building and developing interests is an integral part.
For example, some areas of interest on my resume include “environmental justice” and “health equity”.
Quick tip for tailoring: You will often find a category that is similar to “areas of interest” on the position or program’s descriptions or websites.
Similar to the objective, this can quickly tell employers or admissions committees what you consider as your strongest skills. Although these competencies can be inferred from the rest of your resume, displaying them clearly at the top catches the eyes and interests of those reading your resume, making it more likely that they’ll want to read the rest of your resume in depth. What could be better than that?
You might include skills like “analytical thinking” or “program evaluation,” for example.
Quick tip for tailoring: For jobs, read through the bulleted lists on the job descriptions and mirror the same vocabulary they use. You might find helpful words and phrases where they list what experiences, skills, or qualities of a candidate they’re looking for.
Tailoring your resume can be super easy with a little practice. Whether you’re graduating in May and applying for jobs, you’re in between years and applying for an internship, or you’ve decided to go back to school, resume writing is crucial. For more awesome tips about developing the perfect resume, check out the UNC Career Services Career Guidebook. Good luck Tar Heels!
Niranjani Radhakrishnan received her BSPH from the Gillings School of Global Public Health at UNC Chapel Hill in 2013. She is currently a Program Assistant for Health Promotion and Prevention Initiatives at Student Wellness. She is also in graduate school at UNC Chapel Hill pursuing two masters degrees: Health Behavior and City and Regional Planning with an emphasis in environmental justice, health equity, and spatial analysis using GIS.