Here’s why having a single resume won’t get you hired and what you should do about it

Still wondering why did you not get a call from the many companies that you applied to? Well, the answer may lie in your resume!

For how many years have you been using the same old resume for every job or internship you seek?

You need to change your tactic and soon!

Why is it wrong?

The basic idea behind writing a resume is to grab the attention of the reader. A generic resume that doesn’t differentiate you from any other Arjun, Anusha, or Dhruv on the street is a quick way to let potential employers reject your resume.

Instead, you should replace your all-purpose generic resume with separate targeted resumes, tailor-made for the role you are applying to.

This is advice coming from Mrs Sujata Patil, a corporate trainer and motivator, who has known 15 years of rich corporate experience in top companies.

“Building targeted resumes shows that you have clarity in your thought, shows your versatility, and makes you a more confident and competent candidate than you would be with a generic resume”, Mrs Sujata says.

What is a Targeted Resume?

Building targeted resumes essentially means you would create separate resumes when you apply for different jobs that require substantially distinct experience, knowledge, and skills.

A targeted resume focuses on a specific job opening.

For example, if you’re a triple major graduate in History, Journalism and Tourism, and you’re applying for a job in Tourism, your resume should include information relevant to that industry and not all three.

How many versions of your resume should you have?

The easy answer is – as many versions as it takes. Your resume is your key marketing tool for gaining all important interviews, and if that means you need to have eight different resumes while job-hunting, then eight it is!

What to include in a Targeted Resume?

According to a study released by The Ladders, an online job search site, a recruiter spends an average of 6 seconds reviewing an individual resume.

Therefore, students should keep their resumes crisp, clear and concise. A well-formatted document with all its components clearly linked to the company’s job description makes up the perfect resume, Mrs Sujata said

“Every aspect of your resume should answer just one question-why should the company hire you?” she added.

Here’s Mrs Sujata sharing with us her little bag of tricks to ace resumes, our first line of defence in job interviews-

  • Know the purpose of your resume: You should know what are you looking for before you even start writing your resume. The objective of your resume is to land an interview.
  • Achievements over responsibilities: Rather than listing responsibilities you have taken on, talk about your professional achievements
  • Use the buzzwords from the job description: If your resume doesn’t contain the right keywords then you won’t even make it to the first short list.
  • Use action words Recruiters prefer to review resumes with the right action words. The best action and power words are those that are concise, clear, and direct. Example- Achieved, managed, generated, etc.
  • Keep it within one page: Your resume should not exceed one page and it should only list relevant information.

So buck up all you job hunters! It’s time to arm yourself with the best possible Targeted Resumes. Get started, get going! And good luck!

At Northbound, we want to help people make more informed choices about their careers and professional lives. The average person is said to spend 90,000 hours of their life at work. That’s a lot of precious time to spend being unhappy or unfulfilled. Be it your first career decision, switching to a new field or exploring an entrepreneurial journey, we want to help you make better decisions and inspire you to find your path! Follow us to never miss a new story!

From an aspiring law student to an aspiring Media student to now pursuing a Tourism degree at Mount Carmel College in Bengaluru, Pragya’s journey of indecisive career choices still continues. Now in her second year, Pragya has developed a liking for Tourism, a subject she knew nothing about, and plans to explore this industry more. She’s unapologetically straightforward and prioritizes her values. Get her a dog and you befriend her for life.


  • I follow a slightly different approach. My resume is a generic one. My intention to apply for a specific company is mentioned in the covering letter. In my covering letter, I try to pitch myself to the company trying to explain how I can help them.

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