WHY GENERAL RESUMES DON’T WORK
- You can’t be everything to everybody in one application
Copyright © 2009 AspirationsResume.com
These are scary times as entire industries seem to be collapsing all around us. Every day, we encounter job seekers who are fleeing the fields of real estate, finance, automotive sales, retail, and manufacturing. The problem is that most of these job seekers only know what they are running from without a single clue as to where they are running. Although this may be a good time to be flexible and explore all possibilities, your resume must always be clearly focused toward a specific goal.
Unfortunately, many job seekers make the mistake of relying on one resume to get interviews for different position types throughout several industries. This is almost always a losing strategy, because it only serves the purpose of being convenient to the job seeker, rather than focusing on the employer’s interests. There really is no such thing as an effective “general resume” for several reasons:
==> GENERAL RESUMES CAUSE CONFUSION
Each resume you send must be focused on the job you are applying to. If you don’t give the hiring manager a clear idea of your career goal, you will leave doubt about your level of professional focus. Employers are not career counselors who will carefully evaluate your skills and match you up with good jobs at their firms. HR representatives will not read through every detail of your resume and struggle to imagine how you will contribute to the job at hand. In fact, the initial screening of your resume will only take about 10 seconds. That’s all the time you have to make your point.
==> GENERAL RESUMES UNDERESTIMATE THE COMPETITION
Statistically speaking, HR offices will be accepting hundreds (these days, even thousands) of applications from other candidates who are hungry for the available position. If you are vague or unimpassioned, your resume will not normally pass the initial screening. So rather than worrying about the time, effort, and possible money involved in resume development, you need to think about your competition, which is now especially heavy in this economy.
==> GENERAL RESUMES PERFORM POORLY IN ELECTRONIC SCANNING
Most employers rely on scanning devices to locate your resume through online job sites or their own databases. Let’s say you are sending your resume to a sales position for a shoe manufacturer. The employers may search keywords such as “manufacturers’ representative” or “Nike Air” if they want to find candidates who have experience with their products or selling on behalf of manufacturing firms. When they conduct these searches, they will get good piles of two types of candidates, ones who have a lot of manufacturing sales experience and ones who don’t but are still selling themselves specifically to this opportunity.
A sales resume can avoid mentioning industries, though it’s still not the most successful process. By focusing on the skills, keywords, and achievements that are specific to selling, you may get your resume through the initial scannings. Still, if the initial scannings also pass 60 other resumes, the employers will scan again, using more targeted, industry-specific keywords to shrink the piles of resumes even further to just the resumes they’ll actually want to read. Ideally, you should target your resume to a job type and industry. Failing that, the resume should at least be clearly directed to a type of job.
SO BE SMART
Never, never, never rest on a general resume objective. If you just load up a resume with a bunch of strengths, it will impress few employers, bore the reader, and come across as “white noise” when compared with the hundreds of resumes that are currently following the same failing strategy. Today’s resume must sell you to a goal. If you don’t sell yourself towards a clear goal, then your resume may realistically be a waste of any time or effort that you put in.
This article is provided by http://www.AspirationsResume.com: Review 1000+ free resume examples, compare certified resume writing services, and get free resume evaluations.
Marie Plett is certified professional resume writer through the Professional Association of Resume Writers (PARW). She founded AspirationsResume.com in 2003 and her advice has been published in the Chicago Tribune and the Miami Herald. http://www.aspirationsresume.com
This article is available for free replication. If you would like to make commission off of publishing this article on your site,