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Will a Generic Resume Get Results?

10 Feb, 2012

Will a Generic Resume Get Results?

Many job seekers ask professional resume writers to develop a generic resume that can be used for several targets. Sometimes the client is not even sure what those targets will be but wants a document that will work for any position he or she decides to apply for. This is a huge mistake!

It makes no sense to pay for a professional resume unless your job target is clear. Why? Hiring managers and potential employers are not psychic. You cannot expect them to take the time to read through a generic resume and find a fit for you. They have neither the time nor the desire to do this.

In a quick Google search for resumes, I found a number of examples of the generic, one-size-fits-all type of objective or summary statement. Here are a few of them:

  • “Seeking a challenging position that will take full advantage of my background as well as offer me the opportunity for increasing levels of responsibility and professional growth.”
  • “To secure a position with a well-established organization with a stable environment that will lead to a lasting relationship.”
  • “To obtain a position that will enable me to use my strong organizational skills, educational background, and ability to work well with people.”
  • “A challenging and rewarding position at your company.”

If the above statements are the first thing a potential employer reads, do you really think he is going to consider this candidate out of the 100 resumes he has received? My guess is that the resume will quickly hit the wastebasket.

Here are a few more that are getting closer but definitely lack power:

  • “A challenging and rewarding position as a real estate sales manager or broker.”
  • “To obtain a position that would allow me to utilize impressive management and leadership credentials with room for continued development.”
  • “Seeking position with construction management.”
  • “Talented pharmaceutical sales professional with award-winning experience.”

Compare those objectives or summary statements with the following:

  • “Business development executive with 15+ years of experience excelling in highly competitive B2B environments.”
  • “Commercial insurance account executive with eight years of experience and expertise with sophisticated statistical analysis.”
  • “CFO/finance director/corporate controller who builds the accounting infrastructure and reporting necessary to make sound corporate and financial decisions that move companies forward.”
  • “Proactive, dependable claims adjuster who maintains one of the lowest inventories in the department.”
  • “Top performer with 15 years of progressive sales success in highly competitive, constantly changing business markets.”
  • “Senior executive who created and executed the strategy that grew a startup to $2 billion in annual sales within three years.”
  • “Top-performing pharmaceutical sales representative with over seven years of progressive experience in hospital and specialty pharmaceutical markets.”

These statements have a stronger impact on the reader and are likely to influence him to read through the remainder of the resume.

Writing a targeted resume may take more time, but it is the only way to go; it is much more likely to be read than one that is not targeted because it is customized to highlight the experience and qualifications that are relevant to the job target. I suggest to clients that they search for several ads that describe the type of position they are seeking before the resume is developed; that way we can be sure to address the required qualifications and highlight them throughout the resume.

Betty Williams

Want to learn more about this career expert? Check out a full list of career articles, contact information, and biographical info by visiting her Career Experts member profile. LEARN MORE

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