It is sometimes difficult to remember that there was once a time when job-seekers could use the same resume for just about any job opportunity. Eventually, however, employers began to look for resumes that were more focused on their company’s open position. As Automated Tracking Systems came into vogue, employers were able to become even more selective. Fortunately, that doesn’t mean that you need to write a separate resume for each job opening. You just need to know how to write a general resume that targets different jobs.
If you’re wondering how a general resume that targets different jobs can possibly help you in your job search, the answer is simple. That type of resume offers a foundation that you can use to more effectively tailor your job search approach.
Basically, it’s a generalized document that encompasses all your different areas of expertise. But it’s also a document that you can easily change to place more emphasis on those skills needed for any specific job opening.
Like any resume, you want to craft it in a way that effectively tells your story. It should provide the right level of detail about each of your areas of expertise.
At the same time, it also needs to be flexible enough for you to edit it and accommodate different job openings. The following tips can help you to create that general resume that targets different jobs.
To effectively build this resume foundation, you need to focus on several interconnected areas of importance. Together, each of these specific instructions will help to ensure that your resume can capture any hiring manager’s attention.
At the same time, they will allow your document to retain enough flexibility that you can tailor it to emphasize certain areas of expertise when necessary. Here are the key elements you need to include:
Begin with a summary statement that emphasizes your core areas of expertise. Try to limit them to no more than four main skills, and focus on using captivating language that can attract a hiring manager’s attention. Think of it as your resume ‘elevator pitch’ – since it needs to generate enough interest to convince the reader to continue through the rest of the document.
Write a section that outlines your skills. Again, try to limit this section to only those skills that are most likely to attract an employer’s interest.
Remember also that most of your job-specific skills will be outlined in your experience section. As a result, it can be helpful to use this section to emphasize other skills that may be attractive to an employer.
Draft an experience section that covers your previous jobs and roles. This is a critical area of the document, and should include relevant information about your achievements. Remember to emphasize the value you provided to your past employers.
You can do that by citing specific details like percentages, dollar values (for sales growth, etc.) and other successes.
Add other sections that may be applicable – like education, volunteer experience, ongoing training, and so on. You might not need to include these sections in a tailored resume, but you can save time later by adding them now.
Don’t try to be too selective about the information that you include in your general resume that targets different jobs. After all, this is the base document that you will use when you’re tailoring each individual resume. That means that you can simply eliminate unnecessary details during that tailoring process.
Once you’ve created that foundation resume, you will be well-positioned for any job submission opportunity. All you will need to do is take that base document and customize it to fit the job you’re seeking. We’ve included some tips that can help to simplify that tailoring effort:
By creating this general resume that targets different jobs, you can avoid the time and effort it would take to draft a completely new resume from scratch. That can enable you to spend less time on the basics and more time on the specific elements any given employer wants to see. In the end, that will simplify your resume process and increase your odds of finding your dream job.
For more information about tailored resumes, check out our great post on the topic at How to Tailor Your Resume to Different Positions.