There’s a saying that a rose by any other name smells just as sweet. While that may be true for flowers and other generic stuff, it’s not for your job applications. Each job application, just like people, is different from the others in terms of personal qualifications required, duties, responsibilities, and even the working cultures of the immediate department and the whole organization. As much as you want to, it’s not a wise move to buy the same sized, off-the-rack clothes as Christmas gifts for all your friends, it’s equally unwise to submit the same resume for all your job applications.
As mentioned in a previous article I wrote, there are different kinds of resumes such as functional, chronological, creative, and formal. The reason for the diversity in resume types is because a job opening by any other name isn’t the same. Each type of resume can help address each job opening’s nuances and significantly increase your chances of getting hired, which is the single biggest purpose for submitting resumes.
If you’re still not convinced why each job position you’re applying for needs to be customized, allow me to share with you the top reasons that’ll justify such a need.
Submitting a customized professional resume communicates subtly – but powerfully – that you are really interested in the open position. Why? Let me share with you a personal experience that can help make this point clear.
Ever since I was a kid, I’d always give hand-drawn or made greeting cards to my folks every time there’s an occasion. Even when I was already working and could already afford to buy greeting cards (back when it was still the “in” thing), I would still create my own greeting cards for my parents.
On one occasion, I had to buy a greeting card because my very hectic work schedule kept me from making a personalize one for my Mom’s birthday. While I did exert effort to buy a greeting card that closely represents how I felt about Mom on that particular birthday, Mom wasn’t as happy.
She said she really loved the handmade cards I give her. It’s the customization that gave those cards value. For her, store-bought greeting cards are generic – one size fits all – and doesn’t speak to her personally on an emotional level. Customized cards – for her – speak that I genuinely care for her.
While greeting cards and mothers are much different from jobs and hiring managers, in some ways they’re similar. Customizing your resumes – even in the small details – can help you give the impression to your prospective employers that you’re serious about this job application and that you’re really into it.
Head And Shoulders
No, I’m not talking about dandruff management here. I’m talking about you standing out head and shoulders above the competition for the jobs you’re applying for. I’m talking about 7-foot resumes here that make you look 7 feet tall in the eyes of hiring managers.
How do customized resumes help you seem that tall compared to the other applicants? For one, customizing already sends the signal you’re aware of the things most other people aren’t but are important – like addressing the job position’s specific needs. It also sends the signal that unlike most other applicants who are like zombies and apply without the benefit of much thinking and processing, you are a well-thinking and processing applicant who can bring the same level of attention and excellence to the open job.
I can go on and on… but you get the picture, right? Right!
OK, this sounds kind of vague or irrelevant but believe me, they’re neither. Let me explain.
We live in a day and age where almost every important and voluminous process is automated. As economies continue to grow bigger and bigger coupled with a rapidly growing labor forces all over the world, job applications and the arduous task of sifting through and shortlisting them effectively and efficiently becomes even more important by the day, month and year. And the best way to address this is via automation.
Computer technology has evolved to the point where companies can sort through thousands of job applications effortlessly, allowing hiring managers to focus only on those that have real potential, which can still be quite voluminous. And the way computer software sifts through volumes and volumes of professional resumes is by identifying keywords. If your resume includes them, you’re in and if it doesn’t, well – better luck next time.
Customized resumes allow you to include important, industry keywords that will allow computerized human resource management organizations to “tag” you as one of the best-qualified applicants for a certain job position. This is very important especially if you’re applying for a job in a very large company that has thousands and thousands of applicants.
To Show Off
I don’t mean this as bragging but rather showing the prospective employer how tech savvy you are, especially in terms of business applications or situations. How?
First, customizing your resumes help you subtly communicate to your prospective employer that among other techie things that are important at work, you know how to use word processing computer programs very well that you can customize the professional resume you submit. Believe it or not, there are still a lot of people in the work force who are barely able to operate word processing software and are efficient when it comes to using computers in general.
Another way customizing resumes help you show your technological and business savvy is by being able to leverage the Internet for your job application benefit or advantage. Those who aren’t proficient when it comes to using the Internet are doomed to a reputation – and career – of business mediocrity. And hiring managers don’t look for mediocrity – they look for excellence! When you customize your resumes, you tell the prospective employers that you’re up to date with today’s techy times and such is a quality that will benefit the organization greatly.
Most Of All…
The single biggest reason that can summarize or that holds together all the aforementioned reasons is this: You’re The Most Qualified Person For The Job! It’s as simple as that.
How? It shows the hiring manager that you have the most important qualifications for any open jobs available, such as among others:
- The ability to stay ahead of the competition: Because customizing resumes isn’t a popular practice yet, doing so puts you way ahead of the job-applying pack. It shows you’re not just in the know of current industry practices or standards but that you’re able to exploit current loopholes or inadequacies in the industry to achieve greater than average results.
- Proactivity: The opposite of being reactive, proactivity is a personal trait or an attitude that compels you to anticipate and prepare for things about to come instead of waiting for them to happen then act accordingly. By customizing your professional resumes even if most other people don’t see the need for it just yet, you send the clear signal to the hiring manager that you’re a forward thinker and great planner.
- Wisdom: By customizing your resumes, you show that you don’t just “know” how to do things excellently – you do things excellently.
Customizing your resumes won’t risk you anything but can instead give you a great advantage over the other applicants. If only for that, you should start customizing your resumes and skip the generic ones. Generic resumes are becoming extinct. Don’t get left behind.