The only place you should see a “general resume” is in the Army. Otherwise, recruiters and hiring authorities want your resume to illustrate how your qualifications relate to the position for which you are applying.
Even if you are networking your way to an interview, employers won’t take the time to sort out what applies to them. And unfortunately, the information they require can vary, even among similar positions. So, you have to revise your resume for each application you make. There are five steps to revising your resume for a new target:
1. Focus on similar jobs: Narrow your target to very similar jobs. If you are totally rewriting your resume every time you apply for a job, your focus is too broad.
2. Match the job description: Boil down each main requirement in the job description to a keyword phrase and use it to introduce accomplishments and strengths on your resume. Use the same keywords to introduce bullet items in the Experience section.
3. Omit the extraneous: Leave out information that doesn’t correlate to the job description, is older than 10 years, or doesn’t have an accomplishment attached.
4. Prioritize: Even positions with the same title can have different requirements. One company may focus on defining requirements and analyzing needs. Use those phrases in the resume you send them. Another company emphasizes customer service and process improvement. The jobs are similar, and both types of information belong on your resume, but you need to change the focus to reflect the priority of the company you’re applying to.
5. Review your summary: Finally, change the summary at the top of your resume to reflect the focus of your target company. You may have to revise the order to emphasize one thing over another or replace an example of an accomplishment or skill.
This 5-step revision can ready your resume for a new application. Remember to support your application with an employee referral and other networking within the organization.
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