Happy Star Wars Day! May the fourth be with you! On this day, we reflect on the Star Wars franchise. If you rushed enthusiastically to the movie theater to catch the release of the latest Star Wars film, you obviously weren't alone. And you stepped out of the experience feeling like the latest installment resembled a rehash of A New Hope, you weren't alone in that either. It's not all bad. Depending on how these classic tales are presented, they retain their magic.
Resumes work the same way. No matter how many times you tell your story, you can still grab your reader's attention. That is, you can as long as you tell that story with style and flair. During your job search, you'll probably reach out to dozens (if not hundreds) of employers with the same basic information to offer. How can you keep your story fresh and relevant? How can you do this, especially if your target companies, job titles, and employer needs vary widely? Keep these three things in mind.
Get comfortable with templates, you must
It's always smart to start with a template. Don't reinvent the entire process with each new employer and each new job post. Create a brilliant resume with room for flexibility, but keep large sections of each subheading open to adaptation and revision. You can leave blank sentences and phrases and fill in these blanks in new ways with each application. Start with a basic framework and you'll save yourself plenty of time, energy, and sanity.
Focus on your summary (but it's not your only hope)
Your summary will change more than your other subheadings as you move from one application to the next. Keep a close eye on every word in this section with each new resume submission. Study the specific job post you'd like to target, and then study your summary. How well does your summary align with the needs of this employer? What can you offer that this specific hiring manager wants to see? How can you rearrange your information to bring these key points to the center of the stage?
Focus on your work history section (the force is strong with this one)
After your summary, attack your work history section. Your education section will probably remain more or less the same. Your work history, on the other hand, can be reframed slightly to shift the spotlight toward areas of relevant skill and expertise. For one employer, you can remove a former position or an entire chapter of your job history if it's not useful to your target audience. For the next, you can bring that former position back onto the page (and maybe fill it with extra supporting detail).
As with every step of your job search, try to study your documents from your target employer's point of view. If you were standing in this hiring manager's shoes, would you hire this person? Keep this in mind, and your resume will never turn to the dark side. To build your template and get the process started, explore the tools available on MyPerfectResume.