In this recession, I often encounter job seekers who are fleeing their fields in search of entirely new careers without knowing what new paths to pursue. Although it’s good to explore all possibilities, your resume must always be clearly focused toward a specific goal.
Unfortunately, too many job seekers make the mistake of relying on one, single resume to garner interviews for different position types throughout several industries. This is a losing strategy, because it only serves the purpose of being convenient to the job seeker and does not take the employer’s interests into consideration.
Each resume you send must be focused on the job you are applying to. On average, employers will only give your resume an initial 10-second glance to see if you are more qualified for the job than your fellow applicants.
Statistically speaking, HR offices are 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.
Your resume must be targeted in keywords as well. 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 resume screener may search keywords such as “manufacturers’ representative,” “manufacturing sales,” or “shoes” 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 end up with two types of candidates, those who have a lot of manufacturing sales experience and those who don’t but are still selling themselves specifically to this opportunity.
So be smart. If you just load up your 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. 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.
Moral of the story: If you have multiple career goals, use multiple resumes.