Writing a resume is not something most people look forward to. What makes it even worse is that you need to tailor your resume to each position you apply to – or have multiple versions of your resume. Sending the same resume to every position you apply to is not an effective way to land an interview. The hiring manager needs to see skills/experience relevant to that particular position. Many job seekers make the mistake of sending a general resume out to many different openings. In this post we will discuss how many versions of a resume you need and how to tailor your resume to different positions.
A single resume is enough for over 95% of job seekers. You do however need to tailor your resume to each position you apply to.
So how many resume should you have?
You usually only need one
Do you need to change your resume for each position you apply to?
You may need multiple resumes if the positions you’re apply to are very different in scope.
For example –
A candidate applying for positions as an accountant or an auditor would only need one resume. The resume would still need to be tailored but multiple resumes are not required.
A candidate applying for a positions in internet marketing or web development would need to have two resumes. These positions are very different and not really related in scope. It would be very difficult to tailor an internet marketing resume to web development.
(We wrote a good post here on how to tailor your resume for different positions)
The first step is to change the title of your resume to the position you’re applying to.
The summary section should be tailored to the position you’re applying for. If the position requires 5 years of experience – make sure you state that qualification in your summary. You also want to briefly touch on relevant skills and accomplishments. You should be tailoring your summary to each position you apply to.
The next step is to tailor the keywords and skills to the position you’re applying for. Check the job description for relevant skills and keywords you can include.
Keywords on a resume are both crucial to getting your resume past applicant tracking systems which the majority of employers use, and for when a human reviews it.
ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems) are used by most employers today to automatically screen resumes. ATS delete over 75% of resumes so you need to ensure your resume is optimized for them correctly.
You can see how your resume does in an actual ATS scan with our free resume review.
Keywords are specific words or phrases on a resume that either catch the attention of the hiring manager or help an applicant tracking system (ATS) understand who you are.
You don’t need to rewrite the work experience section every single time but you can make slight adjustments to better tailor your resume. This can mean placing more relevant bullet points first or adding in experience/achievements that are relevant to the position you’re targeting.
Most job seekers only need a single resume that can be easily tailored to different positions. Remember that your resume needs to contain information that’s relevant to the position you’re targeting. Finding a job is challenging if you send the same resume to each position you apply to.
You will begin to see those interviews roll in when you take the time out to carefully tailor your resume to each position.
Good luck with your job search!