You might have a very clear idea of the type job you want to apply for. But even if your skills and expertise are very specific, your application should still be tailored to the particular job opening. And while this can certainly add more time to the process, it could very well determine whether or not you get called in for an interview. Resume and cover letter templates will save you time and ensure that you submit the strongest application possible.
Crafting a strong resume takes a lot of time and effort. You need to make sure that you include all of the key components that hiring managers will be looking for, use action and quantifying words that can help bring your experience to life, and format the document in a way that makes it very easy to read and digest.
When you finally feel that you have a solid resume, the last thing you probably want to hear is that more work needs to be done. But the fact of the matter is that, unless your resume has been tailored to the specific job opening you are applying for, it will probably sound generic and be discarded.
Hiring managers do not want to read about your professional history. They only care about whether or not you would be a strong candidate for the position. Your resume and cover letter need to make this specific case.
This does not mean you need to start from scratch each time you submit an application. By developing a template cover letter and resume, you can quickly pull together the strongest points that are most relevant to the particular position.
Essentially, you want to create a master document that compiles all of your best experience, skills, and achievements. This document will be longer than anything that you would ever actually send over, and that is okay. When you apply for a new job, you will just pull out the information that is most relevant and can help position you as a good fit.
There are lots of people out there who try to include absolutely everything in their resume. But this can actually do more harm than good. By doing so, it is likely that the hiring manager will skip over the most important points, or that these points will be watered down by all of the supplementary info.
Save different versions of your resume and cover letters that have been tailored to highlight certain skillsets or best apply for a particular job position. Continually update these documents so that you are always working with the best examples and strongest language.
When tailoring your application, make sure that you incorporate keywords from the job posting. Many hiring managers will be specifically looking for these to help them identify the most qualified candidates.
It is important that your application is tailored to the specific job opening, but it also needs to be polished. When you have a couple of strong templates, ask some trusted friends or colleagues to take a look and to make sure that the application/resume is grammatically correct, and everything is clear and succinct. The extra time and care that you spend on this process will always pay off in the long run.