Some of my clients ask me if they need to create a separate resume for each position they apply for. I think that this approach is a little overboard (and takes a lot of time). While it’s not necessary to create a new resume for every job, it can be a good idea to have several versions to send out.
The Jack of All Trades
If you’ve worked as a waitress, a consultant, a dog-walker, and an executive assistant, you’ll want to create a few versions of your resume. Depending on what job you are currently applying for, you should focus on the skills and experience that are pertinent to that particular position. A functional resume format is a good way to go if you want to highlight a specific set of skills rather than focus on your chronological work history.
Who is Your Audience?
Working at a dynamic new start-up is probably very different than working for a 80-year-old bank. The same is true for applying to them. For instance, your quirky, humor-laced resume that got you a job at Google should probably be reworked when you apply as an assistant at a law firm. Know your audience and tailor your resume to fit the overall tone of the company (you can read through their website to get a sense of this).
Small Changes, Big Results
You don’t need to re-write your resume entirely when you apply for different jobs. Just a few minor changes can pique the interest of employers. Read through the requirements listed in the job description and make sure many of them are in your resume. Don’t copy the text, of course, but do add some keywords from their job posting to your resume.