Why you should tailor your resume
The question is asked so many times, between career coaching sessions, development workshops and interviews, “Should I really tailor my resume to every job?” I always respond with a resounding YES! Think of your resume as your personal ad. Have you seen large companies like Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Tim Hortons and Coca Cola use the same ad for every product and target market? The answer is No! All these companies understand that marketing to different audiences means adjusting the message and medium to the market. As a job seeker, while the titles of your target audience may seem similar, a Hiring Manager, Recruiter or Human Resource Manager, your message and medium always needs to be tailored.
Still not convinced, here are three reasons why you should tailor your resume:
1. Your resume will appear general. There are thousands of job ads out there for jobs that sound the same, look the same and possibly are the same. So why should you still tailor your resume? The answer is, if you are too general you could be overlooked. Tailoring your resume says that you have taken the time to match your skills to the requirements and not just a machine hitting reply.
2. Tailoring puts you over the top! It is true. You do not want to be just another applicant. You want to be the applicant. How are you going to do that? Tailor your resume to the requirements. Show the reader that you are not just another applicant, but a candidate who has taken the time to understand the requirements. Make your resume your own personalized ad showing why you are the one.
3. General resumes show you don’t care. Whether you are looking for an entry level or senior level executive position, general resumes send the same message. It says, I cannot be bothered to show you why I am the right candidate for this job, but here is a list of things about me, let me know if anything matches. In a market where competition is stiff and competitive advantage and value are in high demand, if you don’t take the time to use your personal ad, your resume, to show why you are the best candidate, you will be left behind. That role will be taken by the person who takes the time to care.
Your job search success is often determined by little, subtle things that you do to stand out. Your resume is often the first opportunity to make a strong first impression. Make sure that it says why you are the best fit for the job. Your resume is only part of your job search strategy; make sure it is a strong and effective part.