Resumes are important to showcase your “personal brand.” They are what companies and individuals see when you apply to jobs. They highlight your skills, tell a story, and explain why your skills are relevant for a particular job.
Many times, people create a “standard resume” that they use to apply to jobs and, in theory, this document is transferable between different types of jobs. While a standard resume is good and the exercise of writing down your experiences and skills is helpful, it is always better to customize this to draw out the specific experiences that you have that are applicable to the specific job that you are applying for. Without this, a company may overlook you in favor of others who are more blatantly obvious.
When people apply to jobs, they are usually one of a hundred or of a thousand applicants. Because of this, it is critical to make sure that your information is clearly presented. You definitely do not want to rely on the ability of the HR person to guess that you are relevant. Therefore, using a tailored resume will, in most cases, allow you to bubble to the top of the pile, IF your skills and experiences are truly relevant. Tailoring a resume can be as simple as stating the key words that the company is looking for from the job description in your resume under your experiences, as long as you have these experiences.
When you send in your resume, companies evaluate not just your hard skills, but your leadership skills and other “soft skills.” They want to see that you are a well-rounded person, that you can take initiative, and that you can make the company better for being a part of it. Leadership skills can be gained from leading a student group or Postdoc Association as well as taking on leadership responsibilities in jobs that you may have worked in (whether or not they are related to the final career choice that you pursue).
Networking abilities are also valued by companies. The more you get involved in the community, the more appealing you could be to the company. Also, important to highlight are internships especially if they are relevant to what you want to do, as well as papers and presentations. Most companies want to see that you have good communication and presentation skills. Typically, if someone has presented numerous times, they have this.
As you apply for roles, think about what the reader is evaluating and what they are looking for. Based upon this, tailor your resume to enhance odds of being looked a further. Good luck on the application process.