Posted By Amanda Collins on August 5, 2010
Again and again, my clients want me to create a résumé that will reach every conceivable employer, regardless of industry or title. Once upon a time, you could create a generic objective on your résumé and let the reader determine where you fit best—but that is no longer the case. When 100+ people are applying for one position, you need to be a little more strategic.
The other thing I’ve heard recently is, “My résumé is more generic, but I make my cover letter targeted.” That’s great, but three of five hiring managers don’t read cover letters, and if they do, it’s after they’ve glanced at the résumé. Also, if you’re applying online, there may not even be an opportunity to include a cover letter.
The truth is that you’ll probably end up tweaking your résumé for each position to which you’ll apply. If they’re similar in scope, you’ll just update the top third of the résumé: headline, summary, and keywords. However, if you’re looking at two distinctly different areas, you may have two different strategies. It all depends on what you want to be when you grow up.
My suggestion: spend some time discovering what you want to do. Look at ads and see what appeals to you. See if people are hiring in that industry. Choose a title that fits for now, if not forever. Then make sure that everything you have on the document supports that goal. It will keep you focused and on track so you can really share your value with a prospective employer.