One arrow does not bring down two birds. -- Turkish proverb.
I work with many clients who bring a multitude of skills to the table. In the performance of job duties, this can be a tremendous blessing. However, with regard to the career search process, this can be a curse if not handled correctly on the resume. It is not uncommon for job seekers to attempt to “communicate the breadth of my experience” even on one resume. While it sounds quite admirable from the job seeker’s end, it does not work for the person on the other side of the hiring process who needs to know quickly what it is you have to offer that will help them to solve their immediate problem.
Think of the situation this hiring manager is likely to be in. They (like everyone else) are overworked and underpaid, with subordinates who are tugging at their coat tails, while their supervisor is on them about two other projects due. And oh, by the way, they need to get this stack of 110 resumes down to a workable 15 by the end off the day. Now, if your relevant experience is underdeveloped on your resume due to spacing issues and also buried within content covering three or four other vastly different career path concepts, what is the likelihood that he/she will see it? And even if they do, the resume is likely to come across as a little scattered and unfocused.
It is always better to approach one’s resume from the perspective of the employer. What are they looking for? What is the priority? Does my background consist of this and what is the best way for me to convey that in my resume to communicate that to them quickly? What the reader should feel when they read your resume is “I see you need A, B, C, and D...well, I bring that to the table in spades, and it is primarily the direction I am pursuing in my career.” What a bad resume communicates is “I can do a little of this, a little of that...I am okay either way and have no particular direction”.
Which applicant are YOU going to hire?
Just think about the database implications. If a position has, say, 15 keywords that would ideally ping the database and show you are qualified, how many are likely to be missing because you decided to cover four other targets with different keywords in your resume?
In a point in our economic history where jobs are scarce because entire industries are in danger of disappearing, this broad strategy will really find a lot of people languishing in the market for months and they won’t even know why.
William Mitchell, CPRW is a certified professional resume writer and Owner/Lead Writer of the Resume Clinic, serving clients in the United States and Canada with highly targeted and effective resume and cover letter packages since 1995. Connect with William and The Resume Clinic on Facebook, LinkedIn, or via email.© 2013 William Mitchell
The views and opinions expressed in these articles do not necessarily reflect those of College Central Network, Inc. or its affiliates. Reference to any company, organization, product, or service does not constitute endorsement by College Central Network, Inc., its affiliates or associated companies. The information provided is not intended to replace the advice or guidance of your legal, financial, or medical professional.