More than one resume? I have one…shouldn’t that be enough? Well, yes and no. One resume is good, but more are better! And if you are having trouble seeing where this can help you, let’s explore how I came to regard multiple resumes as such a great idea, because I needed to be convinced, too!
A few years ago when I was looking for a job I received a call from a recruiter I had just started working with. I had sent him over my resume earlier that day so he could put me forward for a job we both thought I was qualified for. When I picked up the phone, though, I could hear a bit of disappointment in his voice as he looked over the resume I sent.
I'll be honest, I felt a little defensive! I knew my resume was good! I had workshopped it many times, with many different experts who all agreed it was a killer resume, simply top notch, so why did this new recruiter sound so… meh about it?
“This resume is good--it’s great, actually!,” he corrected, “I just don’t think it’s great for this type of job. Do you have another you can send?”
At this point, I felt pretty crushed. I had always been under the impression that you make one perfect resume, blast it out everywhere and wait for offers to roll in. But this new recruiter explained to me that that’s not how it works if you want to apply for more than just one type of job.
If you’re applying for one, and only one, specific type of position where the qualifications and expectations will always be the same, sure! Create your one resume and send it far and wide, but for most of us that simply isn’t the case. When job seeking, we’ll find ourselves looking at all kinds of different jobs, and even different fields entirely! And when we do this, the best way to ensure success is by altering our approach to suit these different job types.
So we tried this recruiter’s approach. Together, we created two more resumes for me that highlighted my experience in different ways…and it worked! Based on the type of job I was looking to apply for, I started using my resumes like a deck of cards. I would look at the job description and think about which resume would best apply and send that one. With this more tailored approach to applying, I felt like I had more control to target the jobs I wanted, and I started to get way more replies back to my applications. The increased attention and feedback lead to more interviews, which meant I got more proficient there, and before I knew it I had landed a great job.
So now that you’ve seen how this could work. How can you make it work for you? Well! Luckily for you, I’ve broken down what you can do to build your own deck of tailored resumes to send out when you’re applying for jobs.
1. Write out everything to start
If you have a resume already, this will be easy. But even if you don’t have a resume yet, sit down and write out each job you’ve worked and all of the duties you were responsible for. And when I say all, I mean everything! Even the little things you did. Once you get rolling with this, you’ll be surprised by just how much you did. Trust me! And don’t be concerned with making it look or sound perfect yet, we’re still in draft mode.
2. Make duplicates of your draft
Once you have your master list of everything you ever did in every job you ever held (seriously!) duplicate it so you have a few copies. Once you have all of that worked out, it’s time to transition into the real meat of this project.
3. Determine what experience should go where
Now here’s where it all gets interesting… What you’ll want to do here is really carefully consider the types of jobs you think you’re qualified for and interested in and ask yourself a few key questions:
For example: You might be looking to apply to Administrative, Retail, and Customer Service jobs (meaning you’re building three resumes. Go, you!) You currently have experience in Retail, Warehouse and Food Service jobs, but when you look at all of the things you did in your Warehouse jobs, you can see plenty of similarities between your experience in Warehouse, and the experience needed in Administrative jobs you’re looking to apply to. Since you see the similarities there, when you build your resume for Administrative work highlight the areas of your Warehouse experience which match most closely to the Administrative jobs you’ve seen advertised.
The goal, here, is to take the experience you have currently, and match it most closely to the requirements of the jobs you’d like to apply for in each category. So when you build your Administrative Resume, you should keep in mind that the work you did in warehouses is what most qualifies you most for Administrative jobs!
4. Edit, edit, edit!
So once you know where your experience will work for you, it’s time to consider how your experience might work against you. Huh? New concept, I know, but an important one to consider!
When recruiters and hiring managers look over a resume, they want to see exactly the experience they’re looking for, nothing less and nothing more. If you have a varied background, that actually may hurt your chances of landing a job, rather than help them. By creating targeted resumes, you can remove lines of your resume which may distract a hiring manager from seeing exactly how you qualify for the job they’re hiring for.
For Example: When working as a Bartender, you may have made the best cocktails in town, but that may not be the best line to keep in your Administrative resume. The line you definitely want to keep (and expand upon) is the one about how you developed and maintained a new system for taking patron orders which increased the efficiency and quickness of creating those wonderful cocktails. That’s that line which will perk up the ears of a hiring manager who is looking to hire you for an Administrative position, so you should make it shine!
5. Fill in the gaps
Now that you have your tailored resumes, and you’ve edited out any of the experience that may not be applicable to each category, you may notice that you have a bit more room to play with. This is your chance to expand upon the areas that you think really make you a great fit for each job type. Add in more detail about the things you’ve done that you think will add flavor, interest and personality to your resumes.
6. Make them pretty!
Now that you have the content of your resumes all figured out, it’s time to think about the packaging! Did you know that Jobcase has a free resume generator built into your profile? Now that you do, you can totally use this tool to quickly generate multiple resumes that look slick, are formatted well and really showcase what you can do.
At the end of this process, you should have a few resumes in your job searching tool-belt that pinpoint the specific industries and jobs you want to apply within. When you’re looking for jobs, think about which best suits what you’re applying for and send it out. It’s really as simple as that. Also be sure to follow up to increase your chances of hearing back from the recruiter or hiring manager.