Carbon Copy Resumes
Aug 06, 2013
I mentioned in the Job Hunt Series last week that it is important to have a master résumé that has your entire work experience on it. The question I have received is “should I keep my entire work experience on me résumé when I submit it for a job?”
The short answer is “No.” Let’s look at a few examples.
James is applying for a job as a shift supervisor at a meat packing plant. His job history includes working as a retail supervisor at a big box store, working for his uncle’s landscaping business, and the time he spent at a major fast food chain as a cook. James also has a degree in business management from a local private university. There are obviously things that he did as a supervisor at the store (like setting schedules, speaking with customers, and interfacing with employees) that would translate to the supervisory role at the plant. Other things like manning a cash register might not translate. Similarly, working for a fast food restaurant probably does not have much that would be useful at a meat packing plant, other than some knowledge of how the meat arrives packaged at the restaurant.
Alice wants to be an administrative assistant to the President of a nearby state university. She has over twenty years of experience at various companies working as a secretary and also received her Bachelor’s degree from the school she is applying to. She also held small time jobs in retail stores and restaurants early in her working life. Given her long tenure in positions like the one she is applying for, Alice will probably want to highlight that work and leave off anything else. Working at a fast food restaurant twenty years ago to help pay your way through college is admirable, but completely unrelated to the position in question. Alice will also want to highlight the fact that she attended and received a degree from the school. While not a guarantee that they will hire her (she still needs to meet the qualifications) it might give her a leg up as an alumnus.
In both of these cases, both James and Alice will probably have to remove a substantial amount of information from their master résumé to make it applicable to the jobs they are applying to. They should also adjust the order of certain items to make sure the document highlights the important pieces.
The other piece that should be updated for each application is the Objective or Introductory statement. Putting an objective that simply states “To obtain a job where I can succeed and make money” is not enough. This too needs to be tailored to the job.
Gone are the days of one size fits all résumés. If you really want to be noticed, you need to customize all parts of your résumé to the job that you want.