Just because you have a resume that looks beautiful and highlights all of your best qualifications, it doesn’t mean that you won’t ever have to update or write a new a resume.

One of the biggest mistakes that job seekers make is not customizing their resume to the specific job that they are applying to. In most cases, only small, quick changes are needed that will help you stand out amongst the other candidates. Below you will find the 5 instances when you’ll need a new resume. It may be a little time consuming to update your resume, but it will make a big difference in the number of interviews you’re invited to.

1. You’re applying to jobs in more than one field

There are a couple of situations where you’ll be applying for positions in your current field while simultaneously applying to jobs in a new area. Maybe you’ve decided to explore a new career path or you’re skilled in multiple fields and you’re applying to jobs in more than one career field. In order to be successful in being contacted for interviews, you’ll have to have separate resumes specific to the particular job you are applying to. For example, if you have an established career in marketing and you’re looking for a new role, but you’ve recently gone back to school and obtained your degree in accounting and are seeking entry level roles in that field. In order to effectively move through the hiring process in each of the fields, successfully, you’ll have to have separate resumes that speak to those specific skills and accomplishments.

2. You’re applying to jobs in more than one industry

Once you’ve decided that you’re ready for a new job, it’s important to remember that your resume is the tool that sells you to the company that you’re applying to. If you’re applying to multiple jobs in the same industry, it’s likely that you’ll be ok with one version of your resume (although it’s always best to update your resume with language that you find in the job description). For example, if you’re applying to Marketing jobs within the nonprofit sector, those organizations will probably want similar things from their candidates, so making minor updates to the resume would be acceptable. However, if you’re applying for jobs in various industries like, automotive, financial and government, you’ll want to create separate resumes to include industry specific language and emphasize experience that fits best for that industry. The hiring manager at Pepsi will not be looking for the same things as a hiring manager at the University of Michigan. Tailor your resume to the employer even if you’re applying to the same kind of job.

3. You’re overqualified for some of the positions you’re applying to

There are some situations in life that will cause you to apply to jobs that you’re way overqualified for, maybe you’re finding it difficult to land jobs that you’re qualified for and you need a job ASAP or maybe you really want to work for a specific company and they only have entry level positions open. Either way, if you find yourself in this situation, avoid the temptation to use the resume you already have. Most employers will overlook candidates who appear to be overly qualified for the position. Usually, employers assume that overqualified candidates will get bored or leave because of the pay. Before you submit a resume for a job that you’re overqualified for, be sure to include specific details found in the job ad like, skills and education required for that role.

4. You’re under qualified for some of the positions you’re applying to

Just like being overqualified, being under qualified can definitely get your resume put in the shred pile. It’s not hard to understand why an employer may not be interested in someone who is under qualified. There are liabilities to consider, like safety (perhaps in the case of a medical role) or their obligation to remain fair to all candidates. However, some employers will still interview under qualified candidates. Sometimes their qualifications are flexible and in come cases, they will interview you and possibly offer you a position that more closely fits your skill set. When creating your resume for the position you’re under qualified for, DO NOT LIE ON YOUR RESUME!! Lying on your resume is the best way to never get hired, when it’s exposed during an interview that you’ve lied OR getting fired when you’re hired for a job that you’ve lied to get and you’re exposed after starting your new job. The key to writing your resume when you’re under qualified is to highlight the qualifications that you do possess, even if you don’t have all of the required skills that the employer lists on the advertisement. Using a resume that isn’t tailored to the job you’re under qualified for is the best way to not be considered for the role.

5. You’re applying to companies who have unique specifications for resumes

When a company requests a specific type of resume for a job you’re applying to, if you plan on moving further in the hiring process, it’s best to submit that type of resume. Some examples are companies that request a functional resume vs. a chronological one, the Federal government has it’s own format for resumes and some employers may request a CV. If your current resume isn’t the one that the organization requests, get busy on getting a new one completed before applying to the job.

I hope this list helps you understand why it’s important to have more than one version of your resume. When you put in the effort to customize your resume to the employer and job you’re applying to, it shows employers that you’re serious about their company and the role and it increases your chances of being called for an interview.

If you’re wondering how good your resume is, you should definitely check out my Resume Audit Checklist. The Resume Audit Checklist will give you a list of criteria to determine if your resume needs an update.

Do you use separate resumes for the different jobs that you apply to? Have you been applying to multiple jobs with the same resume? How many interviews have you been called for? Let me know in the comments.

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