Job Seeker Blog - Spark Hire

How Many Resumes Do You Really Need?

Without a doubt, it is important to have a resume that caters to the kinds of jobs that you are applying for. However, how many resumes does one job search need? Re-writing a resume for every job application is time-consuming and tedious— it’s even trickier for your video resumes. So let’s talk about some ways to make fewer resumes work for you.

First, take stock of your job search. The broader your search, meaning the more different kinds of jobs you are applying for, the greater number of resumes you will need. Makes sense, right? Say you majored in marketing, and then worked for a few years training circus elephants. As you apply for jobs, some in marketing and some in traveling performing arts, you will want different resumes for those different kinds of jobs. Alternatively, if you have a degree in oboe performance, and are looking only for jobs as a concert oboist, then one resume will probably work just fine for you.

A well-written resume, focused on a specific job title, should serve you just fine in your job search. This is especially true because of the prevalence of cover letters. Your chance (your obligation?) to tailor a message to a specific job is in the cover letter, and this will more than make up for choosing not to customize your resume to every single job you apply for.

There are, of course, a few exceptions.

If the job you are applying to does not allow you to send a cover letter, then it would be a good idea to customize your resume to that particular job. Also feel free to customize your resume if you have an afternoon with nothing else to do and want to be a job search rock star. In that case, here are a few tips:

Don’t overthink it! Customizing your resume shouldn’t involve tearing the whole thing apart. Try limiting yourself to five changes if your resume otherwise matches the type of job you are applying for.

Swap out the more generic skills and experience on your resume for items that match the specific description of the job you are applying for. Also remember to add or subtract certain work experiences or educational experiences depending on the job you are applying for. For example, my CPR certification isn’t pertinent to most jobs. However, when I applied for a marketing position in childcare, I put it back on the resume.

Best of luck with your job search, and your snazzy new resumes!

Do you customize your resume for each job you apply for? Leave a comment below, or send me a tweet: @ithinkther4iamb

IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by woodleywonderworks

Kristin Anderson

Kristin has a B.A. in English from the University of Iowa, with an emphasis in creative writing. In her free time she enjoys long walks, kitchen adventures, and making puns.