I’m launching a new feature this month entitled “Roadblocks to Job Search Success” to contain much of my often-discussed advice for common issues faced by job seekers. These are the subjects of many phone calls from professionals seeking a job change or new employment, most of which echo a common refrain.

Today’s Roadblock: Using a General Resume.

Many, many people in today’s job market possess a multitude of skills gleaned from past positions, current college curriculums, and professional training. In fact, a common problem is fitting all this great information onto a single resume. (which is a topic for another Roadblock!)

Perhaps this abundance of skill is what usually leads job seekers to tell me they want to use a “general resume” because they don’t want to “limit” themselves to only one job title. While I completely understand this position, this has become Roadblock #1 to Job Search Success for a great reason: General resumes do not work!

Imagine that you were hiring, for example, a widget packaging expert. In the stacks of resumes received, would you want to see that the candidate knows how to speak French, has done financial analysis, graduated from college with a degree in English literature, or has lots of industry expertise in food service?

Hiring managers want to see that a professional has taken the time to describe precisely what it is that qualifies them, and stated a clear desire for the job at hand. Sorry, this is not as simple as slapping a different Objective on the resume. (more on Objectives later as another Roadblock!)

There is nothing wrong with having well-rounded skills. The problem lies in throwing all of these skills at a recruiter and hoping something sticks.

Your best maneuver: putting every qualification on a highly focused resume that tells the employer how well you will do THIS job.

Yes, you may need more than one resume. Then again, you may be able to use just one–successfully!

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