But I Already Have a Resume

When talking to persons that are in the job hunt, the topic of multiple Internet-ready resumes will often come up in the conversation. And the first comment I usually hear is, “I already have a resume, why do I want different ones for the Internet?” A fair question. So let me ask you, “If you had a nice dress suit, would you wear it to a ball game or a picnic?” No, probably not. Luckily you have an entire wardrobe to pick from…suits and dress shirts for meetings with clients, jeans and t-shirts for working in the yard, khakis and collared-shirts for casual meetings with friends, etc.

In much the same way, your resume is not a single, unchanging, fixed-style document! Oh, this was the case 10 or 20 years ago, but not today. I want you to think about your resume today as something that is “assembled” for specific purposes based on a full collection of content, formats, details, and needs. As you stand in your “resume closet” you must select and combine the elements of your next resume “outfit” that meets the need of the job position that you are seeking.

“Eh, this sounds like a lot of work. Can’t I just build 2 or 3 generic resumes and use those?” Yes, for those of you that are starting off on a job hunt, that’s a fine first stage of job-search readiness. For example, you might hear advice that talks about creating 3 or 4 resume “formats”…creating a “Print” (Word) resume, a “Text” resume, and maybe even “Scan-able” or “E-mail” resumes. This is good basic advice and a good start. But this is still like deciding to wear that one blue, pin-striped suit everywhere, while just choosing to take off the coat, or maybe wearing loafers instead of patent-leather shoes. You still only have one resume and you’re trying to make it fulfill all purposes and needs.

You need to take the next step if your resume is going to perform its best for your specific job hunt. Your resume needs to stand out from the other generic resumes that the recruiter must shuffle through. You need to warm up your document editing skills and get ready to create many, many resumes. For in this tough economic climate, your resume must be the one that catches the recruiter’s eye!

Bottom Line: Get organized, get all your employment information together in one place, and get your mind wrapped around the idea that you don’t have a single resume, but you have a collection of resumes (outfits) to address the needs of the firms/recruiters and to be a “perfect fit” to the job you are seeking.

(Revised 5/2010)

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See the Index of all my Job Hunter articles on my Backlog tab.

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