Tailoring Your Resume And Cover Letter For Every Job Opening
TOday more and more job seekers realize that one-for-all resume won’t do any good. Obviously it is easier to develop one resume and cover letter sending it out to different companies and applying for different job openings. Such approach though is doomed for failure, especially when taking into account an extremely high competition among job seekers. The only way to be effective in resume writing is tailor your application documents for different positions. But the question is how does one tailor resume to match a specific job opening? What do career counselors mean by saying that people have to adjust their CVs each time they send them for job openings…
It’s All About Being Relevant
When career counselors are talking about changing your resume every time you apply for different jobs, they mean adjusting the content of the resume so that it would be relevant for those reading it. In other words if you want to demonstrate potential employers that you are a good match for the position, you better make sure you include the skills and experience that would address the assets employers are seeking. One can usually find such assets in job descriptions under different sections (i.e. requirements, preferred qualifications, skills, etc.). Read carefully such requirements and analyze whether you can offer anything similar and include it into your resume. The job descriptions offered by employers serve as a judgment tool to decide what qualifications may be considered relevant.
One of the most common mistakes in resume writing is including ALL information regarding professional experience, skills, etc. But that means that relevant information will likely be lost in the midst of other information you include “just in case it will be interesting for an employer”. But because hiring managers don’t have time to “carefully analyze” each and every resume or CV they hold in their hands they will likely put it away if they don’t find anything that would be worth of their attention… So don’t be afraid to cut your resume if necessary. It is absolutely OK to have it all on one page – it is much better to have 1 page page of relevant information than a 3 page mix of what employer needs and doesn’t need at the same time.
As you may know, the job search process consists of many aspects, not only resume writing. Another document that often accompanies a resume is cover letter. Here job seekers also have a choice: whether to develop a general cover letter that lists all of your qualifications without addressing specific employer’s needs or adjust each cover letter for specific job openings addressing specific person as well as requirements of the job opening. The results of each approach is obvious. Being specific means investing more time and efforts in it, but the result is worth it.
In terms of cover letter writing we recommend addressing a specific person (an individual responsible for the hiring process). Usually one can find out the name of such person by researching the company website or making a call directly to the company with the request to reveal the name of the person you should address a cover letter to. Another thing you can do with your cover letter is explain why you want to work for the organization. The reason will be different for different companies so this is how your cover letter will be different from the bunch of other application documents.