Do You Need More Than One Resume?
Yes you need more than just one resume.
In all honesty you should have a different resume for every job you apply for. Gasp, really? Yup. Here’s why:
One single stagnant resume cannot possibly speak to and address the needs of every job application that you come across.
“But I’m applying for similar jobs. I’m not changing careers or looking for roles outside my realm of expertise. Can’t I use just one resume?!”
If your job target is clear and precise then consider developing a stellar base document – a starter resume – that you can draw from for every application. BUT you still need to customize content for each application.
Customizing content ensures that you cover off unique role requirements. It means peppering in appropriate keywords, key phrases, and related achievements. That’s right – related. If a few points in your starter resume do not address the job requirements, don’t use them. Swap in bullet points that do. Massage wording to ‘speak’ the same language as the posting.
Why? Because everyone likes reading things they can relate to; employers included.
Another important reason to customize your resume is because of the pesky ATS. If you aren’t familiar with the challenges of online applications; you should be. Read more on ATS here.
Ultimately, every ATS is programmed to search for very specific requirements. If your resume does not match the role requirements it could be virtually snuffed out. Where does ATS get those specific details? From the job posting! So read every job posting carefully, note the language, phrases, skill sets, and keywords…and then c u s t o m i z e.
Just don’t let content customizing overwhelm or consume you. Some job seekers take customizing too far and completely re-write their resume from scratch every time they apply for a job. This is laborious and unnecessary. If you’ve had help developing a stellar starter resume then only minor content tweaks should be required. Keep the resume format and strategy the same, for similar applications, but ask yourself: “does my resume address THIS employer’s needs?” Maybe it does, but if it doesn’t – adjust.