So I recently finished grad school and have been doing the job application thing. I usually create a completely customized resume for each job I apply for. However, from talking with other people and reading message boards, etc it seems that many people just have one standard resume/cover letter that they send out. This would certainly make the process easier, as I currently spend at least a couple-two-tree hours on each application. However, there’s only so much info you can cram into 1-2 pages in an organized, easy-to-read fashion.
My degree and experience in grad school is such that the jobs fall into one of two categories: micro/molecular biology lab jobs, and environmental/ecology/marine science type jobs. Generally speaking, most of the micro jobs probably don’t care how much field work I’ve done aboard oceanic research vessels, how well I handle a small boat, or how competent I am at deploying oceanographic instruments. Conversely, many of the environmental science jobs don’t necessarily care about my awesome PCR skillz. So while both get mentioned on just about all my resumes, I highlight different areas for the different jobs I’m applying for. This makes lots of sense to me.
However, I’ve been advised several times that your resume should stay fairly constant, and that you can elaborate/draw attention to certain skill sets/experiences in your cover letter. This makes some sense to me too, however if I’m having trouble fitting all my skills/experience into a 2-page document, how on earth do people who’ve been working for 15 years manage to do this?
Any advice/thoughts? Am I wasting my time cutting and pasting a new resume together for every application?