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Is Tailoring Your Resume Like Cooking the Books?

Many career counselors and headhunters advise candidates to modify their presentations to fit the specific needs of employers whose openings they seek.

But some in the industry feel that re-positioning yourself this way is less than honest.

What do you think? Join the debate!

AUTHOReFinancialCareers News Insider Comment
  • Ro
    Rolph W. Artieda
    17 March 2008

    Tailoring a resume is not only intellgent but saves time for both and it has nothing to do with being dishonest.

  • Jo
    Joseph W.
    29 November 2007

    Alex, I think your friend was being dishonest, without a doubt. Putting non-existent skills on your resume will never help, even if you get an interview, and would most cetainly damage your reputation inside that firm.

    However, I think tailoring one's resume is not only acceptable, but necessary. I recently moved from a financed-focused IT position to a finance position in a new firm. Were the employers interested in my database admin & VB skills, or our defect tracking tools? No, so I left them off. For positions that required credit experience, I mentioned that, and omitted it if not.

    I tailored my resume so that I could present my most relevant skills in an easy-to-read format, and in (just) less than one page. Perhaps 'editing' might be a better way of describing it?

  • Fr
    15 November 2007

    If you've had a wide and varied background thus far, you absolutely have to tailor your CV to get the next job. This is because unfortunately most employers don't read between the lines or take the time to see the whole person, they want to quickly put you in a box - do you fit their narrow view of what's wanted or not? If you don't take the time to tailor your CV you run the risk of trying to be all things to all people, and never fitting into anyone's box, despite your wide experience and multiple skills.

  • Al
    21 September 2007

    A job-seeker has to understand that a buzzword in his CV can result in his being interviewed by
    a person who is really competent in the area the
    buzzword refers to. A friend of mine failed to get a job with Goldman Sachs because of specifying non-existent C++ skills in his CV.
    On the other hand, had he not specified C++, he
    might have not gotten even a single interview.

    There's a definite trade-off here, and it's up to the job-seeker to decide.

  • Br
    21 September 2007

    I agree with the second point of view. Without tailoring your resume, you are leaving the reader with the task of interpreting your duties to match their needs. Its a pain to rewrite it everytime but it seems to be a neccessity.

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