An interesting question was brought up recently: if my friend and I work in the same industry with the same position title, even for the same company, what would be wrong with using one resume and just changing the name? Seriously, we do the exact same job. It would be a waste of time for me to create a resume when it would be exactly the same as his.
Hmm, good question. It might seem like a time saver but sharing a resume with someone else is never a good idea. Even if you change a few key details using a resume that was written for someone else will not give an accurate representation of your skills and strengths. If you are able to remove the name from a resume and insert your own then that is the sign of an ineffective resume. This tells me that the resume is a generic document that could apply to any number of individuals in the same field. This is exactly what you don’t want in a resume.
If you look at a selection of resumes from individuals in the same industry they will more than likely share a few similarities. However, the difference between a generic resume and one that will stand out is that an effective resume will go beyond the generalized job descriptions and skills and capture the candidate’s unique qualities and value which is what will set them apart from everyone else. The same thing applies to copying resumes from the internet.
Although you and a friend may have performed the same duties, the way in which you approach and complete the tasks is what will give your resume the individuality it needs to identify you as the candidate to hire. You may have heard the term personal branding; it is the qualities that make up your personal brand that will be missing from your resume if you used someone else’s resume. Your drive, passions, and personality all contribute to your personal brand.
Imagine a hiring manager going through a stack of resumes; chances are he or she will see a pattern of the same skills, qualifications, and strengths. Every resume should have essentially the same skills that are needed to do the job: customer service = good with people, accounting = good with numbers, veterinarian = good with animals. You get the idea, right? You want your resume to go beyond the expected. You want your resume to show the characteristics that are unique only to you.
This is why you cannot use the same resume as someone else and expect to get results. By promoting your value, reputation, and vision you will have a resume that will speak to hiring managers and rise above the humdrum generality that they see in all the other resumes.
by Megan Koehler