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Should You Have More Than One Resume?

2018, Resume Writing

Having More Than Resume is OK

On your computer, do you have a file with more than one resume – all slightly different, all being constantly tweaked? This could be simply because you were too specific on your first one and are widening the net, but there could be various reasons for this.

It could be that you are looking at the same industry but a new role, or perhaps there are various roles that apply to you because of your broad range of skills sets. You might be looking to move into a totally new industry but in the same role for various reasons. Or you could be looking for a fresh start altogether.

It should be said from the outset that being in one job for ten years or more, but having demonstrably moved up the ladder via promotions is not the same thing as having one job title for the same amount of time.

more than one resume

It’s all About Emphasis

People normally only tackle or update their resume when they need to. And it can be done in a panic state due to imminent deadlines. When this happens, your critical thinking skills can take a back seat to trying to make sure your resume ‘speaks‘ to the specific role you’re targeting. Whether this approach is successful for you or not, what you are left with a resume which is highly explicit to a particular role in a particular industry and leaves no room for being applicable across a broader base.

This is when people begin to tweak and create differing resumes. This is absolutely fine but remember that – with certain exceptions – you can’t create totally alternate realities and leave out certain key roles to accentuate others. You can certainly reduce certain roles’ emphasis by reducing the amount of wordage you describe them, but the real place to make changes is one page one in your ‘Career Objective’.

This is where you can achieve the most impactful shift in emphasis without completely overhauling your resume. The most effective resumes focus on specific career goals. Hiring managers have to hundreds of resumes. They have a job opening and are looking for a candidate who meets their criteria. Resumes that appear to solve their problems will get a closer look, and the ones that are unfocused are often discarded. So your career objective – in one dynamic paragraph – can make all the difference without having to drastically revamp the whole resume and certainly mean you don’t have to have an ever-increasing amount of resumes to choose from.

This way you will have a distinctly different resume for each type of job you’re applying for without having to chop, change, edit, delete and  tie yourself in knots. One paragraph, that’s it. This will work for staying in your industry and looking at varied roles within it.

more than one resume

Customising Rather Than Separate Documents

But this is not the same as customising your resume to a specific employer or job ad. Customising is when you use a single resume for every job you apply to, except that you make sure to insert, omit, or alter minor elements of the content to match the unique requirements of each employer.

Whether you produce separate resumes for jobs that are clearly different, or merely customise a single resume for different employers, you will end up with more than one version of your resume.

more than one resume

But How Do You Know For Sure If You Need More Than One Resume?

Well, if your target jobs that are completely unrelated due to some of the reasons above and would be considered distinctively different positions, then you would probably be more successful with a different resume for each goal.

But even if you decide to produce a completely new resume, use the career objective paragraph as your baseline and let the job history flow from that organically. Even if your experience might be varied, concentrate on including the main reasons why you’re qualified for the goal listed on each resume. This is where your soft skills come into play. These are Skills such as listening, collaborating with others, presenting ideas and communicating with team members are all highly valued in the modern workplace. Strong soft skills ensure a productive, collaborative and healthy work environment, all vital ingredients for organisations in an increasingly competitive world. Most importantly – they are industry-proof which means they are applicable across all job types, industries and position responsibilities.

You’ll Need to Get Organised!

The only downside to using more than one is that you need to keep track of where you sent each version. It’s important to keep a robust record that accurately logs who got sent which resume as if you make an interview you will be quizzed on the specifics of that resume!

If your career goals merit it, writing more than one resume tailored for each objective allows you to directly target each employer’s needs. By sending out targeted resumes, you will almost certainly gain the attention of hiring managers which will drastically increase your chances of making an interview.

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