So you have your eye on a range of five different jobs at the moment. You think that you meet their requirements and that your skills and qualifications are a fit for all five. But each has a different emphasis and is in a different industry. What do you do? Will the same resume work for each?
I bet you have read numerous articles (including ours!) that tell you to tailor your resume for each and every job that you apply for. Whilst that makes enormous sense to you, you feel that you just don't have time to write a new resume for each and every application. Well, here's the thing....with a little savvy know-how, tailoring your resume isn’t hard. You can keep the majority of your resume intact. Do the main work once and with a few minor tweaks you have a resume that keeps on giving. Here’s how you create a resume that keeps on giving.
Create a “Library Resume”
Write a resume that summarises your top seven (or so) achievements for the last two or three positions you held. We call this a ‘library resume’. These achievements should be written in bullet point, starting with an action word and quantifying wherever possible the result. For example if you are a typical Sales Manager it may be that you:
Achieved $4.8M in sales beating budget by 30% in 2013
Implemented new sales management methodology resulting in 15% improved performance per sales representative
Secured 3 new key clients through long term prospect development at senior level
Developed the Account Management Team with customer service and client focussed delivery model increasing repeat business by 80%
Researched and presented new product and market opportunity report to the Executive Team, winning approval to launch the XYZ product in NSW, achieving 15% market penetration in year one.
Initiated and implemented a strategic sales training scheme for new business and account management staff, managing the change process to enhance productivity by 10%
Led project to implement $ 1 million Salesforce sales management software nationally enabling real time sales, contact and inventory data retrieval in the field.
Use only the bullets that appeal to a particular job application
All you need to do now is select the most relevant of your achievements from your Library Resume that best match the job that you are targeting. Some will be much more relevant for one job than others. The job advertisement will have pointers as to what they are looking for. For example, for a particular application you might only use points 1, 3, 4, 6 & 7 from the list above.
In effect, you are removing information for each application – not having to rewrite anything. Easy.
Tailor your summary
OK, so you now have a resume with relevant achievements from your recent jobs that most closely match what the recruiter appears to be looking for.
Next you need to grab the reader’s attention in the opening section of your Resume with a strong and relevant Summary right up front, establishing that you fit the job brief and making it absolutely obvious that you are a strong fit.
Keep it brief - say 4-5 bullet points – and draw on the most relevant bullets from each recent job. You already have the information from elsewhere in your resume, so you only need to summarise it.
For our Sales Manager example above, you might start with:
Sales Manager with track record of consistent $5 million+ sales performance, beating national targets by over 25% in each of the last three years.
Developer of motivated and high performance sales teams achieving 15% yearly productivity growth through modern strategic sales methods.
..and so on.
Your new tailored resume
The result of this will be a resume that looks like you wrote it specifically for the position you are applying to. You know differently, and it wasn’t that hard to do, was it?
You will be tailoring your resume in no time, without having to rewrite it at all.