A lot of job seekers groan when told that they should tailor their resume to each position for which they are applying. They envision this as having to recreate their entire resume every time, eating up a lot of their time and energy. But that is not necessarily the case.
Tailoring your resume does not always mean creating something totally different. Your resume may stay the same except for swapping out a few key terms here and there or rearranging bullet points. It can be a lot faster and easier than you think. Developing a separate version of your resume can be more time consuming, but certainly worth it depending on your situation.
When to Tailor Your Resume
You’ll want to tailor your resume to each job opening you plan on applying to. Carefully review the description and exactly what the employer is looking for. Determine how to best position the information on your resume to showcase your qualifications for the role. This may mean adjusting your keyword competencies so they read the same as the ones in the job description (‘data analysis’ vs ‘analyzing data’), or tweaking your summary to hit on essential strengths you have that match the position.
The overall content of your resume will stay virtually the same. If you’re applying for similar jobs at different companies, you may find that you don’t have to make many changes at all, and it’s pretty quick to apply.
When to Create a Separate Version of Your Resume
You’ll want to create a separate version of your resume if you are applying to jobs in fairly unrelated fields. For instance, if you are an accountant but also sell real estate on the side or do business consulting. You will likely want to have a different copy of your resume that focuses on your sales or consulting skills. What you include under each position may change, as well as the order in which jobs are listed. You may have relevant volunteer work that supports your success as well.
If you are looking to transition into a new career field, but are also open to opportunities in your existing field, this would also be a good reason to have separate versions of your resume. One you would use when applying to roles similar to what you already do, and one to showcase why you’re a good fit for a different career.
Organizing Your Resume Information
No matter what the situation, it is always a good idea to have a master copy of your resume. This is not necessarily a version that you would ever send out, but rather a repository for all of your job information. You can include as many details and descriptions as you want for each position so you don’t forget as time passes. You can refer back to this master document as you’re updating your resume and tailoring it for different positions so you have a wealth of information to choose from. It can also be a great way to track change over time (your sales figures from when you first started to the present or when you left) and keep track of dates, projects, competencies, and job titles.
Whether you need one solid version of your resume to work from, or more than one version because you’re in the middle of a transition, Grammar Chic can help. We’ll work with you to determine how to best present yourself and your experience depending on your job focus. Contact us today at (803) 831-7444 or firstname.lastname@example.org to get started!