‘I swear you’re the only one!’ Or, The Importance of Customizing Submissions

So the tedium of the job hunt is getting you down. It seems like you’ve applied to a billion places, and no one is getting back to you. You’re frustrated and all you want is an ice cream sandwich.

I understand your pain.

But let’s look at one huge thing you can be doing to better your chances.

So here’s the set-up question:

Is it better to:

A) Send out a billion resumes that all say the same thing,
B) Five that are customized?

If you chose B), DING DING DING! Correct! Go get yourself that ice cream sandwich as a reward!

Potential employers get frustrated when they get materials that are either obviously generic, or (even worse) have someone else’s name on them. As an internal staffing professional, I saw a lot of ‘em. Google, Apple, Yahoo!, you name it. What did I do with those resumes and cover letters? Tossed them!

Employers want to feel special. When applying for specific positions, be sure to send a resume that has an applicable objective, as well as a resume that high-lights your skill sets that will be most valuable to that particular job. Being a jack-of-all-trades is a fantastic thing—it means you have a lot of doors open to you. However, if someone is looking for a print packaging designer, chances are they don’t really care that you were a camp counselor at Little Champs Baseball Camp and know how to make balloon animals. Focus on your packaging design skills, including brands you worked on and programs you use to design.

And double-y goes for your cover letter. Try and limit it to one page, high-lighting those awesome things about yourself that make you perfect for the job. Address the needs and wants specified in the posting, and how your skills will benefit the company. And the cover letter is the place you can let a little personality shine through (here’s the place to mention your mad balloon-animal-making skills.) Mention accomplishments that you want to highlight in your resume, such as measurable profits, gains, awards, or accolades.

Indeed, personalizing your documents can be time consuming, but trust me: it’s worth it!