You see a job posting that catches your eye. You read the specifications and it seems to be a good fit. You haul out your up-to-date resume and submit it to the executive search firm. Then wait.

Nothing happens. No response until you get an email thanking you for your interest and explaining you were not selected for additional consideration. Sound familiar?

One of the most common questions that I am asked is why should a job candidate resume file namespend the time customizing their resume when the up-to-date version is an accurate reflection of their career and accomplishments?  Let me explain.

When you meet the recruiter or the employer, do you provide general answers to specific questions? No, you try to be responsive to each query. The more specific you are to each question, the more you connect your experience and accomplishments with the needs of the prospective employer the better chance you will have to advance in the recruitment process.

So why wouldn’t you want to be specific, why wouldn’t you want to connect your experience and record of achievement in the first interview, one of the most important in the search process? Why wouldn’t you want so speak clearly about your ability and enforce why you would be an excellent choice for the position?

The first interview, the interview in which most candidates are eliminated, is the resume review.

So before you submit your resume to a recruiter or directly to the prospective employer, ask yourself, does this resume clearly speak for you? Does it specifically address the issues that the prospective employer is seeking to address based on the job posting or the specifications provided by the search firm?

You will not be present when this important decision is made. Does your resume make it clear why the search firm should advance you in the recruitment process?

That is why you should customize your resume. That is the only voice you will have to make your case.