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Is Your Resume Too “Versatile”?

Often I hear from job seekers who need to get a job ASAP, have a wide range of skills, and thus are willing to work in various areas. “I could do either customer service, bookkeeping or event coordination,” they might say. “I want a resume that doesn’t narrow my options.”

Resume with Question MarkUnfortunately, an unfocused resume will do just that – narrow their options – by turning off prospective employers.

If an employer is hiring a Customer Service Rep in the Educational Software industry, their idea of the perfect candidate is someone who definitely wants to do customer service, has accomplishments  in this, and has a connection to educational software as well – someone whose resume fits that job opening with an audible “click!” Details about event coordination or bookkeeping will make them feel like the candidate is wasting their time.

You need to come across as excited about, and committed to, this particular job – not just taking “whatever” to get by for a while.

If you need more information about occupations or about your own career aptitudes, there are resources online that can help, such as America’s Career Infonet and O*Net.

If you still want to pursue two or three occupational options, prepare a winning resume for each. But be careful: Some job seekers have had both versions turn up on the same hiring manager’s desk – making a very inconsistent first impression!

Besides, if you have more than one or two target jobs, how much energy and commitment can you put into proactively pursuing each one? You may be tempted to rely too much on answering job postings as opposed to networking and informational interviews. And which goal will you emphasize in your profile on LinkedIn?

Focusing your goals isn’t easy, but it’s an important part of a job search. The research you put into it will pay off.

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