You’re not still making a single resume and then photocopying it 50 times planning on handing it out to every job you want to apply to are you? Good for you if you know better. If you are unfortunately going about your job search by doing this, I really hope you’ll stop wasting your paper and your time and start targeting each job you apply to with a uniquely made resume.
Now for those who are in fact targeting your resume to each job, I have a question for you. Have you made a single resume for each KIND of job you are applying to, and then handing this resume out for each job you apply to? You know, a standard resume for Welder jobs and a standard resume for Material Handler jobs and say a standard resume for Forklift Driver jobs? In other words, in this scenario, do you have three resumes and then depending on the job you are applying to, you simply send one of the three versions? Oh no; to coin a phrase, “You’re doing it wrong.”
Unfortunately you misinterpreted what targeting a resume to each job actually means. Targeting your resume to each job means each actual job you apply to even when the job titles may be identical. You make a resume and apply for a job, then when you find another job you want to apply to – even as I say with the identical job title, you apply with a resume that is unique from the last one you used. One job = one resume.
Most job seekers have come to accept this premise with other job seekers dig in their heels at the suggestion and argue that to use this strategy would mean far too much time making resumes and much less time actually applying for the jobs. They envision themselves handing out their resumes all over town while their competition is stuck behind a computer monitor making resumes. Surely, they say, the sheer volume of resumes they are spreading around must have better results than sending out fewer resumes even if they are more specific to the job postings; and they’d be wrong.
Here’s what I’d suggest you try. Go to a job board in some employment centre, or better yet, go online to your preferred job search website. Look for a job you are interested in and once you’ve located one, look for a second with the same title. Lay both job postings on the desk in front of you or pull them both up on the screen of your computer side by side. Now look for at the qualifications that each employer has cited as mandatory and desired. Use a highlighter or if you haven’t got one, just underline in pen the qualifications that are identical in both ads. No doubt you’ll find some words that exactly match on each and that’s great. If you made two separate resumes; one for each job posting, you’d have whatever you’ve highlighted or underlined on each resume.
However, going back to the two job ads, I’m confident you’ll find there are some qualifications that only appear on one of the two job postings – and these you didn’t highlight or underline because they are specific to one ad but don’t appear in the other. Am I right?
These key qualifications set out by each of the two employers have been identified by the employers as required skills or qualifications that are essential if you the job seeker want to get an interview. Sometimes the qualifications are close to each other, like one employer wants someone who can safely lift 40 pounds and another wants someone who can safely lift 50 pounds. If you figure these are pretty much the same and I’m just nick picking, you’d be wrong.
Don’t assume I mean you need to start from scratch with every resume you produce because I agree with you that this would be very time-consuming. Once you lay down a resume and save it, the next resume you produce could be one you produce by tweaking the first resume; making revisions rather than an entire re-write. Editing the amount of weight you can safely carry would mean changing the 4 to a 5 and the meaning from 40 pounds to 50 pounds. A single digit change on the keyboard that aligns what you offer to what the employer needs.
You’ll also find that looking at your one completed resume and a second job that you have qualifications on your resume that the second employer has not stated at all. May be you’ve got down that you’re hardworking, honest and dependable and while these are good traits, the second employer stated what they are looking for is someone with a valid driver’s licence who can read inventory orders and can work a variety of shifts.
In the above paragraph, you can see that it would be preferable to replace what is on your first resume with the things the second employer is asking for if you want to come across on paper as the better qualified person to interview.
It doesn’t matter if you don’t believe me or not by the way. What you should know however is that some of the people you are competing with are taking this advice and using it with every application. Could be one reason you find job searching a frustrating experience with few results if you don’t.