3 Excuses You’re Making to Avoid Tailoring Your Application (and Why They're Wrong)

You probably cringe every time someone tells you to tailor your resume to every single job. You know it’s good advice, but it requires a little extra work. And all you want to do is apply for the position as soon as possible before someone else gets it. Is that really so much to ask for?

No—but you should also know that this advice gets repeated by experts for a reason. As Muse writer Katie Douthwaite Wolf points out, you want your resume and cover letter to scream that you’re the right candidate for the position. Because if yours’ doesn’t do that, someone else’s will.

So while there’s nothing wrong with applying to a ton of positions when you’re actively on the hunt, that’s not a good enough excuse to avoid tailoring your application.

Here are three other bad excuses you’re probably making:

1. You Think Nobody Will Read it—So Whatever

Let’s face the facts: 55% of hiring managers do not read cover letters. And that stat may lead you to believe that you shouldn’t bother doing anything special with yours. But if you held fast to that, you’d be forgetting about the 45% of people who do read them.

And as far as I know, there’s no job listing out there that tells you in advance what type of person will review your materials. This doesn’t just apply to finding a job. If your boss told you that you had a 45% chance of getting a promotion if you showed up to work 30 minutes early every day for a week, you’d do it right? Well, more awesome than that is landing a position that you’ll love. And it would take less of a time commitment than that.

2. You Want to Get Your Application Out the Door ASAP

Trust me—I know the feeling of seeing a great opening and thinking, “I need to apply for this before someone else does.” You aren’t the first person to feel this way (and you definitely won’t be the last).

However, there’s one critical flaw to this approach: There will always be competition, no matter how quickly you apply for the job.

Of course, you might get seen sooner if you press submit immediately. But expediting your materials won’t do you many favors if the person looking at them doesn’t like what he or she sees. In fact, many people say that the first applications to hit their inbox are the worst because they’re always rushed.

Commit this to memory: In most cases, job openings don’t appear and disappear overnight. That means you have time to tailor!