I lied. This article isn’t about how to write a general resume. Why? THEY DO NOT WORK. As of the late 1990s, the general resume is DEAD.
Despite the fact that I’m going to “date” myself here, I do remember the 1990’s. We used fax machines to send in resumes and found our jobs in the newspapers. ATS software had not been invented yet and though keywords were important, they weren’t the defining factor they are now in your job search.
ATS software killed the general resume. Regardless of your generation (Z, Millennial, X), writing a general resume is a waste of time and energy.
Think of your resume as an arrow and the job as your target. Ideally, to hit a target, there needs to actually BE a target. Right? How on earth can you expect to achieve a goal when you don’t actually have one?
For the resume to work, you can only have one arrow per target. A sales resume works for a sales job. Marketing for marketing. Engineering for engineering. What hiring manager in their right mind would hire an engineer from a “general resume?” The short answer? None. Your general resume will not see the light of day, especially when all the other applicants have specifically targeted the same role.
Using a general resume is like throwing spaghetti at the wall and hoping it sticks. News flash – spaghetti does not stick to walls.
Here are a few things to consider:
- The rise of keywords and ATS software means that your resume may be evaluated against the job description (JD).
- If your keywords and skills don’t align with the JD, then you have not demonstrated your qualifications.
- Not demonstrating your qualifications means you are ranked at the bottom of the pile.
- Regardless of whether it is a human or piece of code “looking” at your resume, showing that you have the required qualifications is critical to getting noticed.
- Yes, unemployment is below 5%, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t competition in the marketplace.