If you take the time to customize your resume and cover letter, you can only apply to a few jobs in a day. Whereas, if you just send out one standard resume and cover letter, you can send out fifty, or even more. How can it possibly be more effective to customize when it significantly decreases the number of applications that you can submit?
Here are the reasons why customizing your resume and cover letter is worth your time.
It shows interest in the position. Employers can tell when you are sending the same resume and cover letter to a lot of different places. They will see information that is not relevant to the position, and some of their requirements will be missing. When you send an employer a resume that has not been customized, you are effectively saying to them, “I am interested in the position, but not so much that I am willing to spend any additional time applying for it.” The employer will respond accordingly.
It outlines how your skills and experience make you a good fit for the position. If you have transferable skills, or if you have worked in a different environment, the employer may not initially be able to see how your background fits in with the requirements of the position. It is your job to make it clear to them. By taking the time to lay out how your skills and experience relate to the job, you can change your application from mediocre to strong.
It proves that you are focused. No employer wishes to hire an employee that doesn’t know what they want. An employee without clear goals is a risk, because they may abruptly decide that the job is not what they are looking for, and leave. Also, they may be similarly unfocused in their work. By customizing your resume, you can clearly lay out your goals for the employer, and you can explain how this position fits in with your plan.
It shows professionalism. Customizing your resume and cover letter is simply more professional. It demonstrates respect for the employer, an understanding of the position, and an awareness of your own skills.
When looking for a job, it can be tempting to focus on quantity instead of quality. Don’t make that mistake. While it is satisfying to send out fifty generic resumes, it is not effective. Employers can put your resume in the “discard” file as quickly as you can send it, and if it doesn’t stand out- they will. Looking for a job is a competitive game. Doing the bare minimum will not get you anywhere, Your competition is carefully customizing their resume. If you want to have a chance at getting an interview call, then you need to get to work.
(Written by: Karen Bivand)