Your Resume Shouldn’t Be Written In Stone

December 5, 2012

One of the biggest mistakes job seekers make is sending the exact same resume for each job application.

Putting together a solid resume can be a tough task, so having to rewrite and re-edit it for each job application may sound like a daunting task. It doesn’t have to be all that difficult, however, and will pay big dividends in the number of interviews your tweaked resume lands. Here are some tips to make editing your resume a bit easier:

• Rework your summary
If you were asked the “tell me about yourself” questions in an interview for an insurance position, you wouldn’t lead with, “I have an extensive background in marketing,” and then mention your insurance experience as an afterthought. Yet this is exactly what many people do with their resume summaries.

Your summary statement is likely to be one of the first things seen on your resume. Be sure to lead with the experience and skills that are most relevant to the job. To make this task easier, you can write summaries in advance for the different types of positions you’ll be seeking. Then you’ll only have to make slight tweaks and add relevant keywords when the time comes.

• Re-prioritize bulleted lists
If you’ve used bulleted lists to detail achievements and skills in your previous positions, pay attention to the order. Again, the most relevant skills should be at the top of those lists.

• Double check your skills
Read the job description closely and make a list of the required skills. Of course, you don’t want to add skills you don’t actually have to your resume, but you might be surprised to find a skill you do have in the job listing that you inadvertently omitted from your resume.

• Take a look at the keywords
Many times, the first person to look at your resume isn’t a person at all, but a computer. Resumes are often scanned into applicant tracking systems, and recruiters looking to fill a certain position will enter keywords to find the best matches. When applying for a job, take a close look at words that are used often. If they mention several times that they need someone who is proficient in QuickBooks, for example, you’ll definitely want to make sure QuickBooks is also mentioned several times in your resume.

When adding keywords to your resume, take care to work them in naturally. If you’re sloppy and insert them too often and in places that don’t make sense, the overall quality of your resume will suffer, and that defeats the purpose.

We have helped many job applicants write and tweak their resumes for maximum effectiveness. If you’d like some help with your resume, please contact us. Also, please take a look at our list of open positions and let us know if you find a job that looks like a good fit for you.

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