The consequences of using one resume for multiple job applications by Joe Mayer

May 12, 2020 JPMayer81

We all remember back in high school English having to create a resume for the very first time. The rough drafts, all the edits, proofreading, multiple versions, and finally, the finished product! Back then, I would do anything just to get through with the project and move onto another class or do literally anything else! However, as an experienced recruiter of over 14 years now and looking at resumes all day long, I realize that the feeling of completing a resume and being done with it has not left a majority of people like I was in high school. However, what most people fail to recognize is that using one resume to apply to multiple positions may be the reason that they are being overlooked for a position that they are qualified for and should be considered for. I have heard many times in the course of my career, “This position is really a reflection of what I do! Why am I not being considered?” The answer may lie in how you are presenting yourself.

When we look at a resume, what we are really doing is trying to simplify everything we are and all the experience we have into a one or two-page document. It is a snapshot of ourselves and our experience. The question then becomes, is one resume a good idea for multiple positions? As with everything in life, in some cases, it may work, but in a majority of situations, it is unlikely. Job descriptions are written often by the hiring manager to fit their needs. They write the description in their own words with their views on what they are looking for. When I think back to all the people I have hired, I always try to “mirror” either myself or my clients…it is the reason that I find it so important to meet with my clients so I can see what they are like so I can find a candidate that “mirrors” them. So my advice to candidates that apply for a position is to “mirror” the job description! Use similar words and phrases that are in the job description or job requirements. This will also help when dealing with more junior recruiters who do Boolean searches because they don’t understand what they are looking for and are just looking for keywords that match in a resume…more on this later!

So then why are we taught to have one resume? Well, you would have to go back to my high school English class when I just wanted to get the project done. It is not that we need to have one resume. It is that we should have one resume to start from (basically a template or starting point) so that the changes to the resume for each position that you apply to are small. No one wants to build a whole new resume from scratch! Candidates who make one resume and then apply to multiple positions are trying to get away with doing less work…like most of us in high school English. A resume should be tailored to each job posting’s description because each job description is written by different hiring managers. Taking the time to do a proper resume can save you hours, days, weeks, and even months in applying for jobs with little luck! Much like the high school English students who wanted to get the assignment completed, you will thank yourself when you land the job that you have been dreaming of! This process can also help differentiate you from other applicants and can be the difference in whether or not you are considered for the job or not.“If you are not prepared to do the work, be prepared to lose the position to someone else who is!”

Someone very wise

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