Submitting the same general resume for every position will not get you the same results as tailoring your resume to the specific position you are applying for.
More and more companies are using database systems that automatically filter your resume by keyword. If your resume does not have the right keywords, it is filtered into an automatic rejection pile and never even seen by human eyes.
Most resumes are reviewed in seconds. If your resume does not show how you are the perfect candidate for the role, chances are it will be quickly discarded.
If your resume is actually reviewed by human eyes, the person tasked to read resumes may not have the same qualifications as you. They may not understand how your skills are transferrable or the industry jargon you use. If they cannot see how you are a good fit for the position, your resume will land in the rejection pile.
Make the reader’s job easy and show them how you have the qualifications they are seeking. Customizing your resume may take a bit more time, but it will generate better results.
The most efficient way to create a customized resume is to develop one general resume and then tweak it for each specific job opportunity. Follow these steps:
1) Review the job description
Before responding to a job posting, review the job description to see what qualifications are needed. If you are submitting your resume to an employer that does not have an advertised opening, research the company and find out how it could benefit from hiring you. Once you determine what the employer is looking for, you will be able to list how your skills meet those needs.
2) Tailor your objective or executive summary statement to the position you are applying for
The purpose of the objective or executive summary statement is to show that you are perfectly suited for the open position. Create a concise, targeted objective instead of a general statement that could be for any employer or job. A resume objective such as, “To excel in a Sales Representative role in X industry” is much more targeted than “A position in which I can excel.” Your objective statement is the first item an employer sees on your resume, so make it count!
3) Describe how you’re the perfect candidate
Demonstrate how your qualifications make you the perfect candidate for the position by tailoring your Profile (or Qualifications) section to match the employer’s requirements. Omit statements from your resume that are irrelevant to the position’s specific requirements, reorder the skills so statements relevant to the position are listed first and add information about your credentials that is uniquely applicable to the position and employer.
4) Modify your duties and accomplishments for the position
Many employers review your Employment History section first to assess your qualifications. Review your job descriptions and modify your duties and accomplishments to be relevant to this particular position. Present a truthful account of your experience and highlight work tasks and achievements that relate to the job you are applying for. Place these pertinent qualifications at the top of the description.
If you do not have experience for that specific role, think about how your skills could be transferable. List any transferable skills in your Profile (or Qualifications) section. For example a receptionist who would like to apply for a sales role might focus on their customer service and communication skills as well as their ability to research – all of which important skills for a sales position.