The importance of customizing your resume has never been clearer. When recruiters and human resource managers sift through piles of resumes and e-mails filled with skills, achievements, and abilities, they are seeking something else. They are searching for a customized resume; they are also searching for a candidate that has taken the time to read the job advertisement.

I recently worked with a client that is currently a college instructor. While he enjoys this work, he must also consider the changing economy and wants to be prepared for potential changes in the next few months. Because of this, we designed two specific resumes: one resume was positioned for education, while the other resume was made for a corporate position.

The differences between the two resumes were clearly evident. The education-based resume became a two-page document and included a list of classes taught, student testimonials, and a brief teaching philosophy. This document became more of a narrative and showcased his teaching ‘story.’ While the education resume also included previous work experience (outside of the teaching industry), this information was concise and less descriptive. When he applies for additional teaching opportunities, most colleges will be looking at previous teaching experience and less at corporate positions.

In contrast, the corporate resume was more business-oriented and concise. This document was designed to appeal to a busy executive that needs to find relevant information quickly. While we included his teaching experience, we concentrated on the accomplishments and achievements in his previous corporate positions.

Did this client need two resumes? YES! Resumes are not a one-size-fit-all endeavor. At minimum, they need to be customized to the industry you are seeking to enter or re-enter. While it may take time to develop two or more different resumes, it makes the job search much easier and gives you leverage over other candidates that are using a cookie-cutter resume approach.

Customize your resume, organize your information, and watch your next job search become more simple and successful!