Several executives have recently sent me their resumes in anticipation of our working together, and one thing struck me from viewing the files: these candidates were already working on versions 10 (and up) of their resumes!
If you find yourself writing and rewriting your resume just to get it to “fit” a particular job description or employer, stop and read this instead.
When you continually rework your presentation to fit someone else’s needs, you’re stepping into reactive mode on your job search, and this doesn’t bode well. For one, tailoring your resume to a particular job opening means that you’re putting yourself at the mercy of employers… reworking, rewriting, and waiting, over and over again.
For another, I DON’T recommend tailoring your resume to each job description. There, I’ve said it. I don’t believe that the “rule” that gets passed around as gospel, where you must have a different resume for each job. Here’s why:
Your value proposition doesn’t change, no matter what job you’re seeking. If your resume eloquently and consisely describes your core brand value and achievements, there’s very little reason to tune it over and over.
The other issue with resume customization is that you’re obviously answering job ads as a search method–and it’s one that I don’t recommend.
Try this instead: build your resume around a specific JOB TYPE, rather than a JOB AD. Say you’re pursuing an Operations Manager role, but you’d also be interested in a Sales Operations job.
Create just 2 resumes for these goals, incorporating different resume presentation (because different audiences will hire for each of these jobs), a unique set of keywords that match each job type, and a value proposition that clearly states qualifications for each target.
Next, create a list of 10 companies where you feel your skills could make a difference in each of these roles. Create a custom letter, find out who the COO is (because that’s the likely hiring manager), and send him or her your focused resume and cover letter for the job you want.
Repeat THIS process over and over – you’ll see a dramatic increase in response and the number of interviews you’ll win.
There – isn’t that simpler than tracking which version of 12 that you’re issuing to a nameless, faceless job ad? Declaring your independence from continual resume reworkis much easier and a much more high-ROI activity than the change-apply-wait cycle you’re already using.