How Many Resumes do I Need?

Some people have one resume. Some people have three. Some people have even more. They all want to know the answer to one question. Is one resume all I need? The answer to that question in most cases is no, but it really depends on you and what career goal or goals you have set. The truth of the matter is the more you want to achieve in your career, the more resumes you will need. What further complicates the process is not knowing what direction to take your career at the current moment. If you are looking for a job in more than one specific area, job role or industry, you will need multiple resumes.

Why can’t I just put all my info in one resume?
It is indeed a good idea to keep a single resume full of all of your accomplishments dating back to high school, on to university, and through your professional career to date for use in creating resumes. Do the people looking to hire you need to know all of this information? Not likely.

You might be applying for 2 different jobs in the same field, both of which you are qualified for. However, the skill sets required for each job are different. Adding information not relevant to the job complicates the process for people in Human Resources. You need to focus your resume to each particular job from your varied assortment of skills and experiences to make the decision for the hiring manager as easy as possible.

So I need 2 resumes?
You will only need 2 resumes if you have 2 career goals. If you are searching for a job in sales, one resume may be enough. If you are also searching for a job in investing, you will need at least 2. Similarly, you would likely need 2 resumes if you were applying for a job in advertising sales versus a job in retail sales. Are you starting to get the picture?

Writing a generalized resume for each of your different aspirations is too extensive. Not only is it far too long, but it does not help employers match their focused job description and skills to you as a candidate. The goal is to have the hiring manager look at your resume and know immediately that you are a good candidate for the job. Anything that gets in the way of that is not necessary, and will likely see your resume in the trash.

The goal is to have the hiring manager look at your resume and know immediately that you are a good candidate for the job. Anything that gets in the way of that is not necessary, and will likely see your resume in the trash.

If you need help in assessing your goals, have a friend or relative read over your resume. If they cannot figure out your goals or assess how your skills are relevant to the job, chances are that hiring managers wont either. This is a sign that you have skills and goals mismatched and are in need of more than one resume.

Afterthought…
You should keep track of all of your resumes in a spreadsheet or some other manner you are comfortable with. When and where it was sent, which type of resume it was, what the result was that came from the application. This will not only allow you to remember when and where you applied, but also which resumes resulted in the most interviews. As you make changes to your resumes or develop new ones, you can track their success against the previous ones.


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