What Do You Mean I Have To Re-write My Resume for Every Job Application?

cropped-banner2.jpgYou don’t have to start over with a blank page for each job application, but you do have to take the time to fine tune your generic resume to fit each job description.  Here’s an example. 

What you will see in that screencast is a “before” that is a well-edited, polished generic resume.  

Here are a few bullet points from the candidate’s resume:

  • Ability to process information quickly and accurately, and to adapt to continuously changing conditions
  • Ability to manage risk …
  • Ability to deal with others in very tense situations involving potentially large sums of money
  • Ability to read stock charts and assess technical formations and characteristics

The job ad specifically asks for skills and experiences such as:

  • Compile and organize information from a variety of sources
  • Effectively carry out tasks in situations of ambiguity and uncertainty
  • Interface with clients, peers, management and others
  • Develop a thorough understanding of the investigative techniques utilized in the respective area of primary responsibility 

This candidate has skills and experience that are a great match for the job ad so there wasn’t a lot of work to do. But it is essential to take the time to ensure that the language in your job search materials mirrors the language in the job ad.  

Notice the word “information” in the first bullet point of both the candidate’s resume and the job ad.  The rest of the wording in the resume must be adjusted to better match the ad.

Wherever possible, the highest priority stated in the job description should appear at the top of your resume.  Then, there are a few simple lexical substitutions that can make the original bullet points a better match for the job ad.  

The original terms are crossed out and the substitutions that come form the job description are in bold:

  • Ability to process compile and organize information quickly and accurately, and to adapt to continuously changing conditions
  • Ability to manage risk ambiguous and uncertain situations
  • Ability to deal interface with others in very tense situations involving potentially large sums of money
  • Ability to read stock charts and Deployed investigative techniques to assess technical formations and characteristics

And here is the final, edited resume content:

  • Ability to compile and organize information quickly and accurately, and to adapt to continuously changing conditions
  • Ability to manage ambiguous and uncertain situations …
  • Ability to interface with others in very tense situations involving potentially large sums of money
  • Deployed investigative techniques to; assess technical formations and characteristics  

While you do not have to start with a blank page for each job that you apply to, it is important to customize the resume you submit to the job ad to which you are responding.


Darcy Lear is a career coach specializing in job search documents, professional school applications, and interview preparation. For one-on-one support in preparing for your job search or to set up a campus workshop, contact Darcy: darcylear@gmail.com
 
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2 Responses to What Do You Mean I Have To Re-write My Resume for Every Job Application?

  1. Pingback: What Do You Mean I Have To Re-write My Resume for Every Job … | How to Write a Resume for a Job

  2. Pingback: Humanities Degree and Career Prep Are Not Mutually Exclusive | darcylear

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