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Many job search sites encourage you to post one resume that represents you for all jobs that might be posted on their site.  There is a danger in doing this or thinking one resume will serve you for your job search.  With one resume you quickly become a doer of many things, but the master of none.

You want to create specific resumes for positions of interest that focus your accomplishments on specific experiences that match their job description.  Hiring managers quickly seek out those candidates that “fit” the position.  You want to flavor your resume so it “reeks’ of the position you are applying for.

It takes some intentional thought but you can highlight different career skills using the same experiences in your background.  Many times it is just a matter of rephrasing and repositioning the descriptions you use for your experience.

Simple Case Study: Sarah is looking for a job in advertising but at the same time is also interested in sales positions.  All three examples below come from descriptions of her sales associate position at a well-known clothing outlet.

Example One:

Objective:  Seeking a job, any job, I just need a job

Sales Associate, Clothing-R-Us

  • Utilized cash register to record sales
  • Waited on customers
  • Worked long hours
  • Stocked shelves
  • Priced items

Example Two:

Objective:  Seeking a position with an advertising agency

Sales Associate, Clothing-R-Us

  • Worked with regional manager on writing copy for newspaper advertising
  • Created eye-catching displays to attract customers into store.
  • Intentionally merchandised product to ensure profiled items would sell first.
  • Developed relevant point of sale collateral to increase sales.

Example Three:

Objective:  Seeking a professional sales position

Sales Associate, Clothing-R-Us

  • Highlighted selected product to increase seasonal sales by 20%.
  • Focused on customer concerns to encourage additional product purchases.
  • Developed and implemented special sales activities to reduce stock.
  • Voted sales associate of the month three times over a two-year period.

In these scenarios, Sarah was able to flavor herself as someone who excelled in advertising or sales.  If Sarah were to apply for a customer service position she would adapt her descriptions to a more customer service centric flavor.

Adapt your resume descriptions to the job you want and the reader will sense you are already a good fit for their position.

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