The purpose of a resume is to get an interview for a particular job. OK, sounds obvious. What this means is that you HAVE TO tailor your resume to the specific requirements of the particular job for which you're applying. Taking a "once and done" attitude toward resumes - assuming that one resume is "good enough" - is the biggest mistake we see at SER. As you read through the other items on this page, you'll begin to see why you need to tailor your resume for each job.
Even if you're only interested in one type of job, say "administrative assistant," almost every administrative assistant job posting you'll see is going to differ in some way from the others - computer skills, telephone skills, light bookkeeping, whatever. Your task is to focus your resume for a particular administrative assistant job on the specific requirements listed in the announcement for that job in order to make if crystal-clear that you have the qualifications that the employer wants for that job.
We're not suggesting that you have to start from scratch every time you apply for a job. Rather, we recommend that you create a "base" resume for each type of job for which you're likely to apply - one that is longer and more detailed that a resume that you'll actually submit - and then fine tune that resume for each particular job. "Fine tuning" means generally:
- Structuring the "summary" section of your resume to highlight the skills and qualities you have relative to those listed in the job announcement;
- Leaving out job responsibilities, training, etc. that aren't relevant to the specific job for which you're applying; and,
- Making sure that the items you use in your resume match, to the extent possible, the terms used in the job announcement. For example, if the job announce says that QuickBooks experience is required, you should use the term "QuickBooks" (assuming you have QuickBooks experience), instead of "accounting software" or some other term.