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Do I Have To Change My Resume For Each Job?

When you’re applying for job after job, it can seem tiresome or annoying to have to amend your resume for every application. But it’s absolutely vital that your resume is tailored for every application, keep reading to learn why.

Yes, you need to customise your resume for every job

In short, yes – you need to tailor your resume for every single job. This doesn’t mean you need to completely re-write your entire resume from scratch! Instead, you might need to make a few edits or alterations to ensure your resume speaks to the unique key selection criteria of every application.

Don’t forget about HR companies “keyword filters”

If you’re submitting your resume through a recruitment website such as LinkedIn, it’s likely that a company is using a HR company to screen their resumes. That way, they’re able to filter down the applications to find the most suitable candidates as quickly as possible.

One of the ways they do this is by using keyword scanning software! This software scans every single digital resume and matches the keywords in the resume against the keywords mentioned in the applications key selection criteria. This means that if your resume doesn’t use the keywords in the key selection criteria, then your resume will automatically be discarded.

This is one of the key reasons why it’s so important to tailor your resume for each application. At a bare minimum, you should amend the wording on your CV to match the key selection criteria, or at least incorporate some of the wording from it.

Make it easy for the person reviewing your resume

While a software program may scan your resume initially, eventually a human will need to review your resume as well. You need to ensure that your resume tells a story that is relevant to that particular application, and expands upon the key selection criteria clearly and succinctly.

A HR executive or relevant department head may only give your resume a quick glance before deciding if you’re a suitable candidate or not. For that reason, it’s a good idea to ensure your resume speaks to what the company is looking for in their application.

Companies are trying to solve a problem with a new hire

Many hires that a company makes aren’t just to replace lost employees, but to expand the business into a new area. It pays to think of the hiring process as the company trying to acquire a human to help them achieve a goal or solve a problem.

Each applications key selection criteria will give you a window into the nature of this goal or problem, and it’s critical to understand this context. Think of this way, if a band needs a new blues guitarist to complete their sound, and you’re a qualified blues guitarist, but all you talk about on your resume is your history of playing jazz, then you’re positioning yourself and your skills as being able to directly solve their problem.

It’s all about positioning yourself as the winning candidate

The application process is a competitive process. You’re being compared against maybe a hundred or more candidates, and for this reason you need to stand out. You need to position your specific skills, experience, and expertise as being directly suitable and relevant for each particular application, as speak directly to the company’s goals and aspirations – as expressed in the key selection criteria.

Tips for customising your resume & CV for each job application

Here’s some tips for ensuring your resume has the best shot at standing out for each application you make online, or via direct contact with a company.

#1: Address the key selection criteria

With every new job application, it’s critical to ensure the wording on your CV speaks to the key selection criteria listed in the application. The key selection criteria lists the exact skills, knowledge, and experience they’re looking for in the winning candidate, so it’s important you use this information to position yourself as the ideal person for the job!

#2: Remove or switch out previous jobs based on relevancy

Depending on the position you’re applying for, certain jobs from your past may or may not be relevant. For example, if you’re applying for your third professional role in a large company, then you probably no longer need to list the summer job you had 10 years ago working at a movie cinema.

#3: Remove or switch out skills and experience based on relevancy

If you’ve got a diverse set of skills, experiences, and expertise, then you don’t need to overwhelm the person reading your resume with a complete dissertation of everything you can do! Only select the skills and experiences which are MOST relevant to the position you’re applying for (as expressed in the key selection criteria).


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will vaughan your career mastery

Will Vaughan is the Founder & CEO of Your Career Mastery. He’s dedicated to helping young professionals discover and land the job of their dreams using a mix of proven strategies, tips, tools, and mindsets. He currently works as a Content & SEO manager for a 100 million dollar tech company in Melbourne, Australia.

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