One of the most common questions I get asked by people who are on the job search is, “Do I need multiple copies of my resume?” My answer is unequivocal, “Yes, it’s important to customize your resume to fit the needs of each potential employer based on the job description. Here are a few tips on ways to customize your resume.
1. Intended audience: Be sure to accurately identify your audience. Review the job listing carefully and research the company through sources like Hoovers, Glassdoor and Lexus Nexus. Once you know more about the position and the company, you should customize your resume accordingly. Incorporate buzzwords and phrases from the required and preferred skill sets section of the job description. This should be incorporated into both your cover letter and resume.
2. Be strategic in what you add to your resume: The new information you add to your resume should be explicitly targeted to your audience. It should become integrated into your resume and become part your overall professional picture. Be thoughtful – make sure the resume is cohesive and tells a great story from start to finish. It’s best not just to add a couple of bullet points and call it a day, but also to edit and update your Core Competencies and Professional Summary section. It is your job to make sure your resume accurately presents your skills and education in an up to date & salient format.
3. Update Your Resume When You Gain a New Experience or Title: Anytime you take on a new job or volunteer position, you should immediately update your resume. It’s best to update it in real time as you get a new job or promotion. Even if you have only been in the job for a few weeks or months, you are constantly gaining new experience. Unfortunately, most people wait until they are actively entering the job market to update their resume. Do not wait until you are at the precipice of looking for jobs to update your resume. The longer you go without adding your new tasks or skill sets, the more likely it is to be forgotten about.
By following these basic tips, you can update your resume in short order.