Job-Specific Resumes – Are they worth the time and effort?

Do you have just one general resume that you continually send out to the void and hope something sticks? The great debate on resume quality versus quantity is certainly applicable when it comes to job searching. Although it is important to have a ‘general’ resume, it is equally important that you tailor your resume to the position you are applying for. There are some very easy steps to consider when tailoring your resume and ones that should guarantee results.

Firstly, you want to review the job description. I find it best to print it out and highlight certain words that stick out to you as items the employer is specifically looking for. Typically an employer will include in the job description certain requirements such as Microsoft Office skills, or a college degree. They will also have additional keywords including: self-starter, motivated, detail-orientated, or customer service a plus. These are little hints into what skill-sets make the perfect employee and if you have these skills you should definitely include them in your bullet points within your resume.

You then want to put yourself in the employer’s shoes and consider – If I were to hire someone for this position, what would the ideal candidate have?  If you are applying for a sales position then you would consider someone who is confident and possibly boisterous instead of someone who is shy and quiet. If you are applying for a research scientist position then you would imagine someone who is detailed and tasked orientated would be a great fit.

Consider your own personality traits. Could you fit the specific position? If so, then make sure your resume shows these valuable skill sets.

Using a generic resume can do a great disservice to your job search. Hiring managers receive potentially hundreds of applications for a specific position and if you are vague or not passionate about the position and company then your resume will most likely not pass the initial screening – even if you are the most qualified!  Not to mention, general resumes may also not even get in front of a hiring manager as many may not get passed the electronic screening that many companies now utilize.

In today’s job searching market it is imperative that you put your best foot forward when applying for a position. You are best to spend 2 hours on one position than 2 hours racing to see how many jobs you can apply for.

* On a side note, general resumes are perfect for when you are casting a wide net, for example, posting on job boards. However, utilizing them for specific positions can potentially end up harming your opportunity for landing that position.