The Case for Not Tweaking Your Resume
You've written, edited, and polished your resume. It's taken hours, days, or even weeks and now you're ready to start distributing the resume to potential employers. You've also read that you should customize your resume for each position. Hopefully, you've already decided on a next-step focus, defining the field, position type, and working environment that will suit your education, skill sets, and personality. You know, for example, that you want to work in outside sales for an industry leader; handle sourcing for an electronics company; manage a manufacturing plant for a consumer products company; or direct distribution for a regional retailer. Should you still have to spend time analyzing job postings and tweaking your resume for every single job that piques your interest?
Relax. Here's the rationale for not tweaking your resume to match every opening:
1) It's time-consuming. You may want to allocate your resume-editing time to networking, researching companies, preparing for interviews, and writing thank-you notes.
2) Keeping track of numerous resumes is confusing and you may not be able to recall which version you sent to which employer. Sure, you can use a file-naming convention that matches the customized resume with its corresponding position but, after a while, you can create just so many versions of the same information and V5.6 will be very similar to V7.0. You could design a spreadsheet that indicates which employer got which resume but this process is time-consuming (see #1).
3) Resumes that match job postings too closely may seem fishy. Some hiring managers, most likely company owners who are hiring talent over specialized skill sets, may consider candidates with too-customized resumes as lacking credibility.
4) The posting may not be comprehensive. A major project or position accountability from your past that seems irrelevant may be useful for the target position and differentiate you from the competition.
5) Your employer of choice may have a different, better, not-yet-posted position that more closely matches your credentials and career desires.
Save your customization for your letter and your energy for the job search.
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