In a job market defined by uncertain stability and growth, eagerness for the job search process is an amazing quality for any rising professional to possess. However, those who are incredibly eager to get a job may make the mistake of keeping their options too limitless.

If you are a recent grad searching for your first entry-level position, a stay-at-home parent reentering the job market or just a professional ready for a career change, it is important to know your skills and use them to refine your job search. Those who take a broad approach to their job search—as detailed in a recent Houston Chronicle article—may end up making the mistake of not getting any callbacks from hiring parties. Others may simply end up with job offers for generic positions that will not lead to career satisfaction.

How a Resume Can be Too Broad

Besides applying for jobs in many different industries and seriously considering every opportunity that comes your way, your resume may also mark you as a candidate that is just too general. Remember, recruiters and hiring managers love details—and they will pay more attention to applicants who take time to show why they belong in a specific industry working at a specific company. As such, here are some factors to keep in mind if you want to tighten your job search:

  • An Extensive History

A massive amount of career experience is often considered beneficial to job seekers; however, bringing attention to all of this experience can make it seem like you are just grasping for straws in the job market. Typically, a resume will provide detailed work experience for careers held for the past 10-15 years. Individuals who want to date back even further may run the risk of not really communicating who they are as a professional to potential employers.

As a rule of thumb, it is important to be more detailed with the positions that relate to the specific position you are trying to earn. If you do want to go back more than 15 years into your professional history, it is generally acceptable to just list the employer, duration of employment and the position held.

  • Repetitive Responsibilities

If you have been carefully building your skill set within a particular industry, chances are you have held many of the same job responsibilities in different positions throughout your career. For instance, individuals who have held customer service positions may end up repeating the same job responsibilities over and over again, such as phone communication or conflict resolution.

While these types of skills are great, listing them over and over again will take up a lot of precious resume space.  It may also make it seem that you are stretching your experience too thin, thus deeming you unattractive to employers.

If you have worked within the same field for many years, it is important to spend time specifying each position and recalling the achievements made while hired. For instance, in the customer service scenario, the applicant may want to specify certain service projects that were undertaken and how much they improved satisfaction ratings, increased sales or improved upon strategy.

  • A Generalized Summary

A compelling, revealing summary on your resume can be the element that holds a hiring manager’s interest from the start. Unfortunately, many job applicants make the mistake of generalizing their professional summary into an amalgamation of skills that any employer would want in a job candidate.

While soft skills are important, they are best left unmentioned in a summary. If you want to really make an impression and show a real interest within a specific career field, detail professional strengths, improvements and goals that resonate with that particular market. For example, instead using terms like “hard-working” or “goal-oriented” in your summary, you may be better off saying you have “committed to earning all necessary certifications” or “exceeded sales quotas.”

Chic Resumes by Grammar Chic Refines Resumes to Enhance Your Job Search

If you have been looking for a job for quite some time and have only experienced lackluster results, it is worth considering a resume update. While you may know where you want to go in your career, it can be difficult to step away from the generalized resume and refine it to meet these goals.

Chic Resumes is here to help sharpen your job search focus with our professional resume writing services. Through a one-on-one phone consultation, we will get to know your career goals and look over your work history to draw out the specific skills and achievements your current resume may be missing. With this knowledge, our writers will work to produce a resume that better defines who you are as a professional and what you have to offer to specific employers.

To bring new life to your resume and refine your job search, contact us at (803) 831-7444 or