Should I Write a General Resume for ALL Job Applications?

As a rule, I don't suggest you use a general resume for all your job applications, especially if you have more than one type of job you want to apply for. It's best to target your resume each time you send it out so it really fits the job at hand.

Here's a case in point, where Luis has lots of options and wants to know if using a general resume is the way to go.

Will a General Resume Get Me a Good Job?

Dear Job Lounge Friends,
I need to write a resume but I am not sure what field to target because I have various skills. I recently obtained US residency, so this opens more doors than I had available to me before. Basically, I need a good job.

I have a way with speaking with people from all classes, fluent in Spanish and English, have technical experience with safety equipment, construction experience, but my real strengths are in managing people and I have an innate ability with numbers (something I never pursued). Any advice?

I live in the Denver area and I'm 46, very healthy and an extremely hard worker. Enneagram indicates I'm the "achiever." So do I start with a very general resume?
- Luis

A Target Resume for Each Job Application

by Roberta Rosen, Career Coach

Hello Luis,
The simple answer is: No, don’t write a general resume. Instead, write a resume that supports the type of work you want to do next. (See A Good Resume Is About Your Future, Not Your Past).

It’s so important when starting a job search to be aware of your strengths. In your question, you did a great job of listing all your strengths. When writing your resume, however, you need only include the strengths that are relevant to the job you are seeking.

That's why, if you were my client, I would ask you: What kind of job would you most enjoy? Which of your strengths would most interest a company needing your talents for that particular job?

One way to help figure out the answer to the “which strengths” question is to search job postings online to find a job description that interests you.

That job description will give you clues as to what to include on your resume. For example, a job posting for a foreman on a construction site might list these requirements: labor supervision, hands-on construction experience, vendor relations, and bilingual Spanish/English. That would tell you which of your strengths to list on your resume, wouldn't it?

Likewise, if you choose a different job posting, such as teaching math to Spanish speakers, you’ll find quite a different set of requirements, which would indicate a different set of strengths to highlight in your resume for that job.

You need to target your resume for each job application. It may sound like a lot of work, but it’s worth it. Competition in the job market is fierce and your extra effort is bound to pay off!

Roberta Rosen has been the Career Coach on Susan Ireland's team since 2001. She works with job seekers to help them with career change, interview preparation, salary negotiations, and career growth.