A large part of my job is to adjust my candidates’ resumes in attempts to earn them interviews. I am constantly tweaking resumes to appeal to the specific position, company and sometimes even characteristics about the recruiter. I would almost never expect a resume that worked for one job opportunity would be right for another. Why? Because doing so would assume that each job, employer and recruiter are the same. Obviously, this is not the case.
I have a template, more or less, that I use for every resume I make. I recommend you do the same. I always put the name, contact info and maybe a skill set list in the same place. Other than that though, it’s all up for grabs! Don’t be afraid to mix up the arrangement of education, work history and any other details. There are many strategies and reasons for putting certain things in certain areas. Remember our post on what parts of your resume are seen first by hiring managers? Keep this in mind.
In general, you want whatever the job ad emphasizes towards the top. Always, always, always keep in mind that your resume could be one out of 100 resumes that a hiring manager has to review. They do not have time to seek out what they may be looking for so you need to help it stick out. Imagine yourself in a Where’s Waldo book and do everything you can to stop being hidden! Pick the first few bullet points of job requirements or preferences, and move your experiences that match them to the top of the page.
Get comfortable with the delete button. I’ve met numerous job seekers wanting to make a transition from one industry to another. Specifically, between an industry that requires the master’s degree they have and offers the entry level job they want. More often than not, simply removing the degree from their resume will get them an interview and a chance to show the employer that their candidacy includes more than just a degree, which might have put them in the “overqualified” category otherwise.
Play with graphics and formatting, and try new things often. Mix it up! Especially if there is one industry you’re working to break into. In this case, try a different resume each time you apply to a new position. Spend time scouring job descriptions for the jobs you want to be sure you have similar verbiage on your resume. The idea here is to search for the perfect combination, and to avoid making some comprehensive list all possible skills you might have that may be on a job description. We don’t want to overwhelm the reviewer and doing this is pretty transparent. So make sure you are creating a unique resume for different positions to increase your chances of gaining a job interview.
What actions do you take to ensure that each resume you send out is unique? Do you do this? Share with us in the comments section below. We love to have your input!
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