Question: "How many versions of job-search resumes should I have -- and why?"
by Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D.
The easy answer is that you need as many versions of your job-search resumes as it takes... The less flip answer is that there are different types of resumes for different job-hunting methods -- and if you are using multiple strategies and approaches to search for a job, you'll probably need multiple versions of your resume.
The first decision a job-seeker needs to make is determining the best type of resume. Do you need the traditional chronological resume, or would you be better off with a functional or chrono-functional resume? For some job-seekers, such as new college grads and career-changers, the answer may be that you need both types. Employers strongly prefer chronological resumes that clearly show employment history, but for job-seekers with little or varied career history, a chronological resume may be ineffective at showcasing their value to employers.
The second decision a job-seeker needs to make involves the number of versions of resumes you're willing to develop. In reality, job-seekers should tailor your resume to each employer, each job opportunity. The core of your resume remains the same, but you might need to modify certain aspects, such as professional profile or keyword summary. In today's computer-driven society, there simply is no excuse for having a one-resume-fits-all job opportunities situation.
The third decision a job-seeker needs to make involves the number of resume formats you need. All job-seekers need at least two formats: the traditional "print" format and a text format. A traditional print resume is still needed for job interviews, career fairs, networking, and anytime a real person actually reviews your resume. However, as more and more of job-hunting becomes electronic -- whether through online job-hunting or employer-based resume databases -- job-seekers must really have a text format as well.
Always remember that your resume is your key marketing tool for gaining that all important interview, and if that means you need to have eight different resumes while job-hunting, then go for it. Your job is to follow each employer's guidelines in how the company wants a resume submitted, thus increasing your chances for being contacted for an interview.
Here are some resume resources that can help:
- What Resume Format is Best for You?
- Resume Preparation Do's and Don'ts
- Branding Your Resume: Tips for Job-Seekers
For more detailed resume resources, including lots more articles, tutorials, and samples, go to this section of Quintessential Careers: Resume and CV Resources for Job-Seekers.
This article is part of a series from The Career Doctor's Cures & Remedies to Quintessentially Perplexing Career and Job-Hunting Ailments. Read more.
See a list of all the most common college, career, and job questions -- and Dr. Hansen's solutions.
Who is the Career Doctor? Learn more, read his current career column, or browse the column archives when you visit the Career Doctor's homepage.
Questions about some of the terminology used in this article? Get more information (definitions and links) on key college, career, and job-search terms by going to our Job-Seeker's Glossary of Job-Hunting Terms.