Gone are the days when a job seeker just needed one resume to carry out a job search. A resume used to be a static document which was never (or rarely) meant to be changed. With the rise of personal computing and the development of word processing it has become easy to change your resume to match the requirements of each job posting. There is intense competition for jobs right now so being able to customize your resume is a huge advantage.
The process of targeting your resume or cover letter is fairly straight-forward. It involves giving priority to the skills and experiences that seem most relevant to the job you are applying for. Carefully reading the job posting will reveal what the employer is most interested in. On one application you may want to stress the skills gained in a job five years ago and in another you may want to draw focus to your recent education. Further assistance on this topic can be gained by asking for assistance at your local Employment Service Center (ESC).
After you customize one resume you need to save it with a descriptive file name like ResShippingRecevingApril15.doc – this is an important step as you may need to locate this resume later in order to modify it to suit a future opportunity. You also need to save your documents in a centralized place that you can easily locate. On a home computer this could be a shortcut on a desktop that contains all of your cover letters and resumes. If you are on a computer in a library or ESC you will need a USB device to save your work. Whatever method you use to store your work make sure that you back up all of your documents.
Depending on how many types of jobs you are applying for and how active your job search is, it is possible that you will have 50 or more resumes saved up by the time you are done. Now many of these will be slight variations of each other, but others will likely deviate greatly from the first one you started with. However many you have, the point is that your resume is not one thing – it’s a collection of dynamic documents that allow you to highlight specific strengths.
Having dozens of resumes can seem like a lot of work to an over-burdened job-seeker – and in the past it would have been very costly or time consuming to make this happen with a typewriter. Word processing has greatly simplified this process and made it possible to have multiple resumes that can be easily modified on the fly.
There’s nothing like the experience of stumbling across a job posting that is closing in 4 hours and realizing that you already have a great resume from a similar posting in the past that will fit the bill. With some minor tweaking you can target this old resume to the new opportunity and easily meet the deadline.