Down with Generic Resumes

One popular strategy for job hunting is to build a nice generic resume (or have some resume agency build it for you), then blast it out to all the employers that you can find. If you think about it for a moment, you’ll realize that this is about the worst strategy you could adopt.

A former colleague of mine hits the nail on the head with this one. As a hiring manager, I need you to sell me on yourself within 5-10 seconds of reading your resume. It should scream applicability. It should scream "fit". It shouldn't scream "Jack of all trades".

There's a time for a skills-based resume – when making a career change, for instance – but that isn't the same as a generic resume. A skills-based resume should still utilize your previous position, but when you describe your accomplishments, they should be phrased in a way that shows the applicable career-shifting skill, rather than the domain-specific skill.

Mar 16th, 2009