Create A Unique Resume For Each Job You Apply For
One of the most common mistakes job applicants make while applying for positions is thinking that they only need one resume. The technique of making a single generic resume and sending it out to dozens of prospective employers without modification is called "shotgunning your resume." Shotgunning is not a good approach. While it may seem to be saving you time now, in reality it will probably cost you time since no one will be as impressed with your resume as they would be if you sent out personalized ones.
Employers do notice if you put a little extra effort into your resumes and actually mention the position you're applying for and the name of the company. You can do this is in an Objective Statement at the very topic of the page. It's quite simple—you just write something like this: "Objective: A position as (job title) at (Company Name) where my skills in (list your applicable skills) can contribute to your company's success." You should write a unique Objective Statement for every resume you send out, and that's at a minimum.
What else can you do to customize your resumes for each position you apply for? Consider removing skills or accomplishments which do not directly pertain to the position you're applying for. Shorter resumes are easier for hiring managers to read and more succinctly and powerfully convey your message. Eliminating useless material can keep your resume down to a readable length. You might also want to reorder some of the items so that your most relevant accomplishments and skills are listed on top. Most hiring managers don't make it past the first third of a resume before deciding whether to read the whole thing later or throw it in the trash bin. So put the most important information on top.
Another way you can personalize your resume is by adding a cover letter that talks about why you want the job you are applying for and why the hiring manager should give it to you and not another candidate. This is your best chance to really stand out as an individual and share something of your personal voice with the hiring manager. A resume is a list of skills and achievements, and while they may qualify you on a basic level for the job, think how many other candidates are equally qualified. A cover letter, on the other hand, allows you to share the truly individual qualities in yourself which another candidate may not share, such as a genuine passion for your industry.
Shotgunning resumes is exactly what most candidates do when applying for jobs, and that's good news for you if you're willing to make a little more effort. Take advantage of our Open and Free Resume Builder to help you make a basic resume. Then customize that resume into different versions for different positions which you are applying for, and add relevant Objective Statements and cover letters. This will greatly enhance your chances of being selected for an interview, and ultimately for a job.