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A General Resume That Doesn’t Feel Generic

A general resume is a resume that has all the basics you can build on when preparing for different jobs. What do you need to know about writing one?

Ho Lin Profile
By Ho Lin

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General Resume Example

When writing a resume, it’s commonly accepted that you should use resume keywords to personalize your resume and make sure your job application looks unique to the company. However, what if you could have a resume that generally presents your information without needing individualities? Could you write an engineering resume or a graphic designer resume and always submit it as-is? That’s the intention of a general resume. Here’s what you need to know about these types of resumes.

What Is a General Resume?

A general resume has all of your resume elements pre-loaded into the resume sections. It includes your work history, education, general skills and any other applicable fields. It can give you a good starting point for just about any company, as it goes through your years of experience and showcases the most important parts of it, which is the purpose of a resume.

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How To Craft a General Resume for Any Need

A general resume starts by understanding your resume format. There are three typical resume formats: the chronological resume, the functional resume and the combination resume. These formats prioritize your work history, skills or both, respectively. From there, you can include all of the important headings the perfect resume will typically have.

Resume summary/Resume objective
Your resume objective is a short two to three-sentence section at the very top of a professional resume. This is what the recruiter will see when they first look at your resume. The best way to create one is to consider what you would give a hiring manager if you only had three sentences to do it. That information should be what you use to write an effective summary.

Next is your skills section. The skills will usually depend on which industry you’re in; skills for software engineering are necessarily going to be different from skills for a project manager. Remember to include both hard skills and soft skills on a resume. You can determine which skills are most important by looking at a resume template for your job through ResumeHelp. List the skills as individual bullet points.

Work experience and job descriptions
Your professional experience section needs to include all relevant experience you have, both part time and full time. This may include only jobs in the actual field of the new job you’re pursuing or, especially in the case of someone going through a career change, jobs that have experiences you can connect to this new job. Always put them in reverse chronological order with the most recent ones first.

You also need to list your education on your resume. If you have a college education, including a bachelor’s or associate degree, list it in this section. Otherwise, you can list your high school education. Additionally, avoid including your GPA, unless requested. Instead, consider graduation honors like cum laude or the Dean’s List.

Other applicable sections
There are also other sections you might want to include in a resume. These might include hobbies, certifications, awards and extracurricular activities, among others. These are often most helpful when it comes to writing a great resume when you’re fresh out of school. Remember that you don’t have to create a resume template on your own. You can find great resume samples and options at ResumeHelp, including a resume builder to aid in your job search. If you don’t have a lot of faith in your resume writing but you still want to submit the best resume possible, use the resume builder at ResumeHelp.

What To Update on Your Resume

When you write a general resume, you’re writing it as a baseline. From there, you need to update the resume for every application so you’re ahead of the other job seekers. Here are a few things you can update in each resume:

  •       Company name
  •       Relevant work experience
  •       Keywords for the job description
  •       Extra sections, if pertinent
  •       Specific achievements and skills

The exact job title you’re looking at will need a different set of skills and achievements. Remember to include the things you excel at that are also what the company is actively looking for.

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FAQ: General Resumes

Have questions? We’re here to help.

It depends. It’s a great idea to use this as a baseline so you can switch up your resume for other jobs. However, you shouldn’t write a single resume and then submit it to hundreds of jobs. If you’re looking to get job offers, you should start from this template, then update the content in your resume.

You should update your general resume at least every few years. It’s most important to update your general resume whenever something big changes, like getting a certification, switching jobs, going to school or changing careers.

You can, and this is typically what they’re used for. However, it’s often better to come prepared with business cards and an “elevator pitch” about who you are and what you do. A general resume doesn’t allow you to personalize your approach to every person, which means that your resume can come off as lacking. If you take the time to instead talk directly to each person who might be interested in hiring you, you’re more likely to get a job offer.

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Ho Lin Profile

Ho Lin is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and editor with two decades of experience in content strategy, creation, and development. He holds a Master’s degree in Creative Writing from Johns Hopkins University and his background includes experience aiding military veterans as they transition to civilian careers.

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