For those candidates who are not sure which job or even which field they will be entering, it can be tempting to use a standard template style resume to send out as many resumes as quickly as possible. But this is a mistake. Having just one resume will not help you connect your unique background and skill set to the job you are applying to.

By creating different resumes, you can highlight different skills, different roles, and even different education programs to make your application more relevant to the specific job you are applying for. Here are just a few options you have to help your resume get noticed.

Customized Resumes

Take the time to fine-tune your resume. Highlight key qualifications and skills that matter for the position in question. Make sure you are highly relevant to their search to make it to the next step in the hiring process.  Pull in keywords from the job description to make sure your resume will make it through the search engine round of review before a real person even has the chance to look at your experience and evaluate you for the role. While you will inevitably end up with several resumes if you apply to multiple positions, it’s well worth the extra effort.

Skills vs. Traditional Resumes

You have likely already used a common reverse-chronological resume format that presents your skills and experience in terms of jobs held from most recent to least. Skills-based resumes do something different. With a skills-based format, the focus is on your specific skills and technical abilities as they relate to your work history. You can still provide an employment history, usually at the bottom of the page, but the main focus of the document is clearly the experiences and skills that you can bring to a new job.

While traditional resumes are perfectly acceptable, skills-based resumes are a great option for candidates who have either a limited or expansive work history. In order to keep a resume at just the right length (neither too short nor too long), focusing on relevant skills and the experience to back them up brings a reader’s attention to the most relevant skills for a particular job. This format is a good option for candidates who have significant gaps in their work history, and those who are changing careers or industries.

With and Without an Objective

The objective line in a resume has risen and faded in popularity over the years. Stating clearly what sort of role you are looking to earn by submitting your resume can be helpful in some cases, but in many cases where resumes are sent in response to a specific job opportunity, they can be a bit redundant. For those times when you are sending in your resume to a staffing agency or to a company in hopes that they have an opportunity that would be a good fit, that’s when an objective can be very helpful.

The bottom line is to test different resumes and try different formats to determine what gets the best results for you.

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