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Ask A Recruiter: Do I Need a New Resume for Every Job Application?

Posted by Suzanne Shannon on Nov 14, 2018 12:01:00 PM
Suzanne Shannon
Ask a Recruiter Website Advice Section

Welcome to our Ask a Recruiter Series, where our Creative Talent Representatives answer your burning questions related to job hunting, resume submission, portfolios, and more.

This month, Suzanne Shannon is back!

Q: Do I really need to create a new resume for every job I apply to?

A: The simple answer is, "New job, new resume."
 
When adjusting your resume think about it as a conversation. Your resume should be your side of an information exchange about that specific role, and the reviewer should be able to quickly and clearly see how your background aligns with the position. Hopefully, you’re not repeating yourself verbatim in your actual conversations and your resumes should be no different.
 
Be conscientious of the reviewer's time and energy by giving them all the information they are asking you for in their job description, and avoid giving them too much information that won’t be of interest to them. Having a shared language is also a vital part of a successful conversation so consider using the same language and terms found in the job description in your resume (this helps with applicant tracking systems, too). Be sure to directly address each key requirement and responsibility. If your professional experience doesn’t align perfectly, consider adding relevant non-professional experience to the conversation. 
 
Creating a new resume from scratch for each role obviously isn’t realistic for an active job search. I recommend finding a clean resume format that generally serves you well and keeping a blank-ish version of it handy. Then maintain a looser document that holds the entirety of your background and skills. For each new job, you can curate your custom resume by dropping in and highlighting the most relevant details, adding abbreviated supporting details, and leaving out whatever isn’t relevant to the role. Approach each line of information with an open mind and willingness to edit.
 
With your energy focused on curation rather than creating from scratch, you can focus more on composing a nuanced story of why you’re perfect for that particular role!

Need more help? Consider signing up with a staffing agency like Artisan — having a qualified a Recruiter review your resume is always a great idea. 

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About the Recruiter:

Suzanne WhiteSuzanne is a Senior Talent Acquisition Manager. She has a background in photography and is fascinated by the power of good design. An avid gardener and home renovator, she can build a bike from scratch but simply can't figure out how a modern TV remote works.

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