Should You Change Your Resume for Every Job?

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February 23, 2023
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min read

You're online and just came across a job listing that feels like your dream job. You read through the job description and start getting excited because this feels like something you could actually do. Now what? Do you submit the same resume you used for your previous job applications?

Every job application presents its own challenges. The one constant for each opportunity is that you'll need to provide a resume. In today's competitive job market, it's more important than ever to make sure your resume stands out from the crowd. While you may have a solid foundation for your general resume, tailoring it to each job you apply to can make a significant difference in catching the attention of potential employers.

In this article, we'll explore the importance of crafting a new resume for each job you apply to and provide tips on how to effectively do so. Whether you're a recent graduate just starting your job search or a seasoned professional looking to make a career move, taking the time to tailor your resume can increase your chances of landing your dream job.

What is a customized resume?

How can you convey to a human resources department that the document they see has been tailor-made for this potential employer? A customized resume, also known as a targeted resume or tailored resume, is a resume that has been specifically modified to highlight the most relevant skills, experience, and achievements that match the requirements of a particular job or company.

Crafting a tailored resume entails a thorough examination of the job advertisement, conducting research on the organization, and pinpointing the essential competencies and experiences sought by the employer. The crucial details are then strategically incorporated into the job seekers' resume to highlight pertinent qualifications and accomplishments relevant to the advertised job description.

By creating a customized resume, you can demonstrate your fit for a particular job title, increase your chances of getting noticed by a prospective employer, and ultimately land the job you desire.

Why is it important to change your resume for each job?

It is important to change your resume for each job you apply to because a customized resume tailored to the specific job and employer can significantly increase your chances of getting noticed by hiring managers and, ultimately, getting hired. Here are some reasons why:

  • Stand out from the competition: In today's competitive job market, many employers receive hundreds or even thousands of resumes for a single job posting. A custom resume that directly addresses the employer's needs and requirements can help you stand out from the competition and catch the employer's attention.
  • Highlight your relevant skills and experiences: Every job is unique, and every employer has different requirements and preferences for the ideal candidate. By customizing your resume, you can emphasize the skills and experiences that are most relevant to the job you're applying for, and demonstrate that you are a good fit for the position.
  • Show your interest in the job: A customized resume shows the employer that you've taken the time to research the company and the job requirements, and that you're genuinely interested in the position. This can make a positive impression and increase your chances of getting an interview.
  • Avoid being screened out by Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS): Many companies use an ATS to screen resumes before they even reach a human recruiter. By including the right ATS keywords and phrases that match the job posting in your customized resume, you can increase the chances of getting past the initial ATS screening and getting noticed by the employer.

A customized resume is a powerful tool that can help you stand out in a crowded job market, demonstrate your fit for the job, and increase your chances of getting hired.

What benefit do you get when you match your resume to a job description?

While it may be time consuming, creating a new resume for the job you want gives you a massive leg up.

Creating a tailored resume allows you to address the specific needs of the particular employer. Organizations are hiring because they have specific problems they're looking to solve. When you're seeking a job, you want to position yourself as the key solution to the organization's problems.

Be sure to not only read the job description carefully but also do additional research - read the company's website, press, and other information sources so you get the fullest picture of its needs. Then frame all your experience, skills, and education as the solution for these pain points. 

Customized resumes also prove you're serious about the opportunity. Recruiters can easily tell when you've carefully tweaked your resume to address the specific job versus when you've simply sent your generic resume. Show to the organization that you've done your research and are serious about contributing. 

How to ensure your resume matches the job description

Applying with one general resume isn't a best practice anymore. We have the perfect tool for you to ensure each of your resumes matches the specific job description for the role you're applying to. Follow these steps:

Step 1: Sign up for Teal

Teal is a career growth platform that gives you the tools, skills, and guidance you need to empower and energize your entire professional life. Whether you're a recent graduate looking for entry level jobs or an experienced professional changing careers, sign up today to explore numerous free, readily available resources.

Step 2: Install the Chrome extension

Install the Teal Chrome extension to easily bookmark and save jobs that interest you. Some of the key benefits of the extension are the use of the job tracker, saving notes about specific companies and contacts, and analyzing LinkedIn to ensure your profile is optimized.

Step 3: Save jobs within the job tracker

When you use the Chrome extension to bookmark jobs, it automatically gets logged in Teal's Job Application Tracker. From there, you can keep track of all your job applications and manage your job search all in one place by tracking your saved jobs throughout each stage of the hiring process.

The job tracker paired with the extension also finds salary information from job descriptions, highlights skills and keywords from the job description, helps set up follow-up reminders, and contains a bank of communication templates for outreach and follow ups throughout the hiring process.

Start bookmarking jobs that interest you to Teal's Job Application Tracker.

Teal’s Chrome Extension allows you to easily bookmark jobs from job boards and save them to your Job Application Tracker.
Teal’s Chrome Extension allows you to easily bookmark jobs from job boards and save them to your Job Application Tracker.

Step 4: Upload your resume or import your LinkedIn profile

Using Teal's AI Resume Builder, you can upload an existing resume or import your LinkedIn profile without inputting your password.

Optimize your resume using Teal’s AI Resume Builder.
Optimize your resume using Teal’s AI Resume Builder.

Step 5: Match your resume to one of your saved jobs

Use Teal's AI Resume Builder to quickly compare the skills and keywords in the job posting to those in your resume. Make sure to add any relevant experience to your customized resume and to your application answers.

Teal’s AI Resume Builder compares the skills in a job description to the skills in your resume to give you a match score.
Teal’s AI Resume Builder compares the skills in a job description to the skills in your resume to give you a match score.

Implement Teal's suggested changes to customize your resume for every job application.

Should you list every job on your resume?

The best resumes tell your career story but are also developed around the specific needs of the company and team that you are aiming to land a job with. Your work history, or the work experience section of your resume, serves as the cornerstone that can either make you eligible or ineligible for an interview or further advancement in the hiring process.

In general, it is not necessary to list every job you've ever had on your resume. Including only the most relevant and recent experience can help keep your resume concise and focused, while still highlighting your skills and accomplishments.

Here are some factors to consider when deciding which jobs from your employment history to include on your resume:

  • Relevance to the job: Focus on the jobs that are most relevant to the position you're applying for. These could be jobs where you gained skills and experiences that directly relate to the requirements of the new role.
  • Timeframe: Include only the jobs you've held in the last 10-15 years, unless you have particularly noteworthy or relevant experience from earlier in your career.
  • Career progression: Highlight jobs that show a clear career progression, and demonstrate how each job led you to the next stage in your career.
  • Accomplishments: Include jobs where you had notable accomplishments or achievements that demonstrate your skills and abilities.

It's also important to keep in mind that the length and content of your resume may depend on the specific position you're applying for, as well as the norms and expectations in your industry or field. In general, aim for a clear, concise, and targeted resume that showcases your most relevant and impressive qualifications.

Having all your information in one place can make customizing your resume faster and easier. Here's how:

Additional pro tips for job specific resumes

We've laid out a few tips to help you get started writing a targeted resume. There are endless other ways to create a unique, standout resume, but these tips are a great starting point. 

Get clear on the job description 

Read the job description thoroughly to determine if the role is a good fit for you and your skill set. Start by carefully reading the JD multiple times, highlighting the keywords, phrases, and requirements mentioned.

Then analyze the job duties. Identify the main responsibilities of the job and the specific tasks you will be expected to perform. This will help you understand the skills and experience the employer is looking for. You'll also want to identify the education, experience, and skills required for the job. Make a list of the qualifications and compare them to your own skills and experience.

Look for clues about the company culture, mission, and values in the job description. This will help you understand the type of candidate the employer is looking for.

You can jot down your thoughts in the "Notes" tool within Teal's Job Application Tracker. When you get clear on the JD, you will be able to customize your resume for every job posting and present yourself as a strong candidate.

Write a blurb that summarizes your qualifications 

After your resume's title, include a concise professional summary that explains who you are professionally while also addressing the qualifications and responsibilities from the job description. If you want some guidance crafting this paragraph, you can use our free resume blurb builder tool, as well as use AI and ChatGPT to generate your blurb and LinkedIn "About" section.

Make sure relevant skills are front and center

Look at the job description and focus on the key requirements, as well as the technical and non-technical skills that the position calls for. Those exact skills should be listed prominently on your resume, as well as the results you achieved using those specific skills.

To see which keywords are most frequently used in the job listing, use our free Job Application Tracker. It will automatically highlight the hard and soft skills in a job description. The more times a skill is listed in the job posting, the more important it is for you to integrate into your resume.

Teal’s Free Job Application Tracker automatically extracts and highlights keywords from a job description.
Teal’s Free Job Application Tracker automatically extracts and highlights keywords from a job description.

Ensure your keywords match the job description 

Once you know what skills to incorporate in your resume, review other important keywords and phrases in the JD, (if you're using Teal, look for the words surrounding the orange highlighted words) and use those to populate your resume. This may require you to eliminate some of the existing language you had. Remember, these keywords are going to catch the attention of the recruiter and/or hiring manager and set your resume apart.

Take the time to be methodical and thorough

Customizing your resume can take a while, and it may get discouraging or frustrating, but a little extra time can go a long way in getting your foot in the door for that dream job. It's important to do your homework. Going through the process of tailoring your resume for a specific role will also help prepare you for interviews, should you get to that stage.

It can take time, so be patient, and trust in who you are and what you have to offer.‍

Create custom resumes for every job application instantly

Customizing your resume to match the requirements of each job posting is a crucial step towards landing your dream job.

With the help of Teal's AI Resume Builder with AI integrations, you can effortlessly create multiple versions of your resume, each tailored to the specific role you are applying for. This not only increases your chances of being selected for job interviews but also showcases your skills and experiences in a way that aligns with the needs of the employer.

By investing time and effort into creating a customized resume for every job, you can stand out from other applicants and make a lasting impression on potential employers. So why wait? Sign up for Teal today and use Teal's AI Resume Builder to take the first step towards securing your dream job.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the key elements to customize on my resume for different job applications?

When tailoring your resume for different job applications, focus on aligning your professional summary with the job description, highlighting relevant work experiences, adjusting your skills section to match the required competencies, and incorporating keywords from the job posting. This targeted approach demonstrates your suitability for the specific role and can increase your chances of passing through applicant tracking systems.

How can I efficiently tailor my resume for multiple job applications without starting from scratch each time?

Create a comprehensive master resume that includes all your experiences, skills, and accomplishments. For each job application, extract the most relevant information from this master document to craft a customized version. Use the job description as a guide to decide which parts to include or emphasize, ensuring that your resume addresses the specific requirements and preferences of the employer.

Is it necessary to change the layout or design of my resume for each job application?

It's not essential to change the layout or design for each application, but ensure that your resume is clean, professional, and easy to read. Stick to a standard format that highlights your qualifications effectively. However, if you're applying to jobs in creative industries, you might consider adjusting the design to showcase your creativity while still maintaining a professional appearance.

Becca Dershowitz

Becca is a former special education teacher turned content marketer. With a unique blend of experience from the classroom to SaaS, she leverages a variety of insights and perspectives to support marketing teams.

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