In today’s job market, finding your next position can become a job in itself. You become consumed with reviewing online job postings, attending career fairs, checking in with temp agencies, applying to job after job and anything else you can do to land your next role.

The average job search lasts more than 30 weeks – that’s a long time and trust me, desperation can set in – quickly.

Look, I totally understand why you would want to revisit your professional résumé and make it more “general” so you cover more ground. After all, you need a job – any job – and you’re probably thinking if it’s too broad, it won’t appeal to enough employers, right?


I have encountered many clients who feel they just need a job and any job will do. When asked, “What type of position are you looking for?” Far too often, the answer is, “It doesn’t matter I can do anything.”


Sorry, but if you are a Jack/Jane-Of-All-Trades that means you are an expert in nothing. That’s right; absolutely nothing.

Your general résumé is not helping you land “anything.” In fact, it’s hurting your chances of being called in for an interview, and here are 4 reasons why from a professional résumé writer.

1. A general resume will slow down your job search.

Without your resume having a specific target, you are setting yourself up for a long job search and lots of disappointment. Hiring managers and recruiters aren’t going to bother interviewing you if you present yourself as a generic candidate. They trudge through hundreds of resumes every day and unless yours spells out exactly what they are looking for in 6 seconds, it’s off to the rejection pile.

According to a survey conducted by CareerBuilder, 36% of employers identified resumes that are too generic as one of the mistakes that may lead them to automatically dismissing a candidate. It continued to state:

“Instead of sending out a generic resume to multiple employers,” suggests Tarpey, “the more effective option would be to work on one application at a time, tailoring your resume to fit the job description, and taking the time to truly understand what each employer is looking for.”

So, a job seeker who has a targeted position in mind when writing their résumé will typically be perceived as a stronger candidate. This means, more often than not, you’ll get looked over if your résumé is too general.

2. A general resume is confusing.

Hiring managers and recruiters are looking to fill positions quickly and looking at a candidate with a general resume leaves them scratching their head. What position are you applying for? What’s your expertise?  If you’re not telling them quickly (in 6 seconds or less) they won’t bother trying to figure it out.

Sending out a general resume is like taking 100 copies of your resume and tossing them out the window, hoping they land on the right desk.

Not only will hiring managers be clueless as to how you fit into their company, you are also putting yourself in a position to be placed anywhere they see fit. Do you want just any position? With any salary? You have too much value to get a company’s leftovers, right? So get specific about your targeted roles and make it clear in your résumé.

3.  A general resume makes you look less qualified.

Mark my words, you will not stand up against a candidate with a particular skill set. Potential employers need to see your strengths as it relates to a particular job function or you won’t look qualified.

Think about it, if you owned a house and you were looking to fix a leaky faucet, would you want the candidate who dabbles in home repairs, or the one who specializes in plumbing? When you compare the two, the plumber is perceived as the more qualified for the job at hand.

It’s the same principle for employers. If they are looking to fill a marketing position, and your résumé merely makes mention of some marketing versus the marketing professional’s résumé that spells out their expertise, who do you think will get the call for an interview?

4. A general resume will not include much-needed keywords.

Without industry-specific keywords your resume is not going to be competitive in today’s job market. When you don’t have a resume writer to police your document and guarantee those keywords are represented, it’s up to you to do the necessary research.

ATS systems rely on keywords for you to even make it to the hiring manager’s desk. Not only that, but even when recruiters are emailed a copy of your résumé directly, they too are scanning for specific keywords as it relates to the position.

You may be able to do a little bit of everything well, however, companies are looking for experts in their field, not candidates that are so-so. The misconception is that being a Jack/Jane-Of-All-Trades means you’re adaptable. What it actually does is make you seem like you’re all over the place.

You are not a general candidate, so why should your resume be general? It’s important to recognize that your job-search as a competition. As a competitor it’s your job to do everything you can to give yourself an advantage. A general resume will do nothing for your position as a top candidate and allow you to be looked over time and time again. As you rewrite your resume get a second pair of eyes. Allow a professional résumé writer to make it so specific you can’t be ignored.

Want more? Visit our blog for free resume writing tips, cover letter help and LinkedIn training.

Visit for more details on our services. While you’re there, download your free 5-minute resume checklist to reveal exactly why your resume isn’t working, so you can stop struggling in your job search and start lining up interviews today!

Resume-Evolution is a professional resume writing service that takes pride in delivering L.I.V.E ™ resumes that Look Good, are Intentional, Value-based and Enticing. Our team of elite certified resume writers provide entry-level, mid-level and executive resume writing services to brilliant professionals who are ready to level-up in their career.

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