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Do you really need a new resume for every job?

8 April 2021 at 8:00 am
Maggie Coggan
The answer isn’t as straightforward as you might think

Maggie Coggan | 8 April 2021 at 8:00 am


Do you really need a new resume for every job?
8 April 2021 at 8:00 am

The answer isn’t as straightforward as you might think 

Whipping up one generic resume and sending it off to 25 different job applications is a sure fire way to get ignored by a hiring manager. 

But, do you need to spend hours writing up unique resumes for every single application? Definitely not. 

It’s why we reached out to David Lawrence-Watt from Australian Barnardos Recruitment Services, to get some easy tips on tweaking your resume in the right places to make sure you don’t create more work for yourself than necessary. 

Tailor to the job you’re applying for  

How much you need to tailor a job application depends on the type of job you’re applying for and whether or not you’re transitioning into a specialist role. 

“If you consider yourself a ‘generalist’, and you’re applying for roles you consider to be a natural progression, for example, a HR coordinator applying for HR consultant or officer roles, it’s probably unnecessary,” Lawrence-Watt says.  

“However, if you are applying for roles that would be considered more ‘specialist’ such as an HR coordinator applying for both learning and development coordinator roles and recruitment consultant roles, then those CV’s should be tailored to the type of speciality you wish to transition to.” 

Order over content

Rather than re-writing your resume for every job you apply for, Lawrence-Watt says you should identify four or five main aspects of the position description and shift relevant skills to the top of the list. 

Make it so painfully obvious that even the most time-poor recruiter, at a glance, can see you’ve done things relevant to the role you’ve applied for,” he says.  

“I would argue, for most CV’s, it’s not the content that needs to be changed, but the order according to relevance.” 

Avoid burnout 

It’s important to not spend hours making these changes, as it could lead to bouts of job seeking burnout. 

“If you’re spending a few hours tailoring your CV for every role, you’re going to burn yourself out. Job hunting is exhaustive enough without taking such a time consuming approach,”  Lawrence-Watt says.

Maggie Coggan  |  Journalist  |  @MaggieCoggan

Maggie Coggan is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.

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