You might have heard that it’s best if you tailor your resume according to the role you are applying for. Submitting the same resume to all the positions might not be very fruitful for you. Having created the perfect resume, are you looking to apply to job openings all in one go? It would simplify your work, but it might not be the best idea.
Well, the logic is simple. No two job vacancies are the same, which is why the same resume will not work as job applications for both. Every hiring company has its own set of candidate requirements in terms of skills, experience, and education. Recruiters search for specialized skills, accomplishments, and work histories that match the current vacancy in their organization. It is, therefore, crucial for candidates to highlight these in the best way possible.
Thus, even if your resume showcases an array of work responsibilities that would ideally make you a preferred candidate across domains, it might skip the recruiter’s radar, which is looking for specialization in one or two areas, not ten.
Your resume must catch the recruiter’s attention and you can achieve this by addressing three core points in EVERY job application you send out –
(a) Your interest in the specific vacancy,
(b) Fitment to the role, and
(c) Alignment of the role with your career plans.
Here’s how to customize a resume to meet a recruiter’s demand:
•Read the job description provided by the recruiter carefully
•Identify specific areas to change in your resume (skills, relevant experience, objective statement/career goals, and achievements). Reorder to place the most relevant information on top in every category.
•Match job requirements with your profile – Recruiter does not want to know everything you did in your last job; list job responsibilities that correspond with their desired candidate profile.
Next, let’s take a look at different situations that require creating more than one version of a resume and how to best incorporate the above points in the all-important document – your resume.
When you must create versions of your resume:
Different position, same industry – When applying to a slightly different role than your current one in the same industry, you will need to address one basic question that will be on the recruiter’s mind – “Are you ready to take on a different role?” Showcase your skills and abilities handled in current and past capacities in the resume. For example, list individual successes, role in team achievements, and new initiatives as an IT engineer who is now looking for a managerial role in the same sector.
A similar position, different industry – Highlight strengths and transferable skills that can be applied across sectors for a similar role. For example, if you are looking to leave your current sales job in the FMCG sector in order to join the sales division of an insurance company, list your current employment details, but stress your networking skills, a strong sense of gauging client requirements, and ability to sell in tough market conditions. Also, focus on a broad skill set rather than individual job responsibilities, like when moving from a core management role with one company to offering independent consultancy services to companies with varied portfolios.
Different positions, different industries – In case of a career change, a detailed chronological resume will not hold much value. Build a functional resume around critical skills and experience that will be useful in changing industries and accepting a different role. Highlight any past achievements in your current sector that would hold value further ahead. Also, not stating your career goal clearly enough will only leave the hiring manager wondering why you applied for the position in the first place.
Creating a resume specific to every company and job requirement might take some extra time, but once ready it has a greater chance of standing out amongst hundreds of generic resumes and landing an interview slot.