How Many Versions Of Your Resume Do You Need?

Job seekers are often discouraged to realize that they can’t prepare just one resume and expect to find a job. Once you find out you need multiple resumes to run an effective job search, your next question is probably, “how many do I need?” The simple answer is this: You need a different version of your resume for every job you apply for. So as many jobs as you’re applying for, that’s how many different versions of your resume you need. And yes, that probably is going to be a lot. But making customized resumes does two important things. The first is it makes you look like a more appealing and relevant candidate. The second is it shows you’re willing to put in a little extra work.

There are ways you can simplify things and make life easier on yourself, however. Start by asking yourself what types of jobs you’re applying for. Maybe some of your job applications are for office work, and others are for customer service positions. You should have two versions of your resume to start with then—one for customer service jobs and one for office work. Tailor each one with slightly different information.

You might for example include the same work histories and skills, but rearrange them so that the most relevant information shows up higher in the resume for each job type. So the office work resume might emphasize your organizational skills and achievements, and the customer service one might emphasize your expertise with dealing with the public.

After you’ve come up with several of these “themed” resumes, you can use them for the most relevant job applications. Your customization doesn’t stop here, though. Remember we said you need a different version of your resume for every position you’re applying for? Once you have your themed resumes, you will want to change the objective statement on each of them to match the job you’re applying for.

So let’s say you’re applying for customer service and office jobs again. Maybe you’re applying to twenty different customer service jobs this month. Start out with the customer service themed resume. Then customize the objective statement for each of those twenty customer service jobs, so that you have twenty different resumes. They will all be identical save for the goal statement, which will list the correct position and company. You can then do the same with the office job resumes.

The end result is that every resume you send out will be unique and will be tailored to the job you’re applying for, but you won’t be writing each of your resumes from scratch. You’ll start with a single resume which will serve as a template for all your themed resumes, then you’ll produce several of those by modifying or rearranging elements. And then you’ll just make a different objective statement on each individual resume. So it’s not as much work as you might think it is. And it can pay off in the form of more interview invitations, hopefully leading to a new job more quickly than simply shotgunning out identical resumes would!

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