By:  John Holmgren

Using a “one-size-fits-all” resume is nearly always a mistake.  Job specifications are very precise.  The more closely your resume “Objective” and “Summary” sections match the stated spec, the better your chance of getting an interview.

Do I recommend that you “stretch” your qualifications?  Absolutely not!

However, most job candidates have several skills.  As an example, you may be interested in working for a wholesale industrial distributor.  In reviewing your experience, you decide you are qualified to be an inside sales representative, a customer service rep or a sales administrator.

It is not effective to submit an all-purpose resume that says you can do anything.  Remember, the position is open because the organization is trying to solve a staffing problem.  If, in this case, they are looking for a customer service rep and your resume emphasizes your skills as an inside sales rep, you lessen your likelihood of getting the interview.

In modifying your resume for this position, the “Objective” is obvious.  Your goal is to be a customer service representative.

The “Summary” recaps the evidence that you are qualified for the position.

I recommend that you immediately build a file of 15 – 25 bullet items of your many and varied skills.  Having done this, it is an easy matter to select the 5 – 6 most appropriate skills for this specific opportunity and to cut and paste them into your resume “Summary” section.

Recall that it is the information “above the fold” on page 1 that is the most powerful.

This will give your resume the greatest possible initial impact because you have stressed your most appropriate skills for the position.  It will improve your interview chances and it will take just a few minutes to complete.