Do you really need to customize each resume?

The other day I was taking a class in resume writing. Even amongst career practitioners you can find a lot of different messages, conflicting advice and less-than-clear recommendations.

Such was my experience that day.

The presenter first proclaimed that customizing each resume to a job posting was an exercise in insanity ... I believe those were the words used. He was given to hyperbole! And within five minutes he had contradicted himself by mentioning a few places in the resume that should be customized. How confusing to the listeners!

Having a wealth of experience on my side, I listened without too much buy-in. (I take these webinars to hear what going on out in the trenches and to know what colleagues or competitors are promoting.)

Here's the thing: if your next-step-career-goal is well defined, your need to customize will be minimal. For example, if you know you want a junior retail job in a chain of women's wear, once written, your strategic resume will rarely, if ever, require customization as the goal is well defined; however, if you only know you want a retail position, but it could be in women's wear or men's wear, in shoes or jewellery or even in makeup, you may indeed find the need to "tweak" your resume and cover letter. The tweaking will ensure you have the right focus, and the required key words and key phrases.

It only makes sense. Recruiters tell job hunters over and over that they want to know specifically how the job hunter fits the profile of their ideal candidate. Specifically, not with wishy-washy, general, non-committed language. Not heeding recruiters' advice (or pleas for better resumes!) is foolish and may be a reason for not landing any interviews.

Not sure how specific to be? Not clear on how to tweak a resume? I am here to be of service!

Working to YOUR career's benefit, and to recreate resumes from dull to amazing - Stephanie