Just How Many Versions of a Resume Do You Need? Written by Alan Carniol

Interview Success Formula

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How Many Versions of a Resume Do You Need

Tailor your resume for each job in six easy steps.

Resumes have to be tailored for every job you apply to, and it’s normal to have a resume stockpile in double digits. If you’ve achieved little success with your store of resumes, then it’s time to do some editing to bring the application process to the next level.

Here are some tips to help:

Create a master resume. Obviously, a master resume should be a staple for all job seekers, no matter what the stage of their careers. This resume should include your solid background of skills and accomplishments, all the way up to your present career. This will serve as your cheat sheet for future resumes and you can easily add something new to the template as needed.

Include your jobs, internships, education, professional training, licenses, certificates, awards, volunteer work, languages and other relevant information.

Clean it up. Don’t fill your master resume with every piece of your job history. If you do, it may become a dumping ground over time that will become too complicated to organize properly. Before everything piles up, clean up your resume now and keep it neat and tidy so that it’s ready for the right opportunities.

Review and edit your resume regularly. Update the format when needed and make sure to review a hard copy as necessary to more easily spot errors. Ask a friend to help make sure any embarrassing errors or important omissions are caught.

Once all the information is appropriately organized, you can build a new version of your resume to make small revisions as needed for new job applications.

Dissect the job description. Once you’ve come across a job posting, make sure to read the job description closely. Highlight the required and preferred qualifications. If you think you’re a good match, feel free to apply. In your response, don’t forget to focus on what the job requires and what skills are needed, and what you can bring to the job.

Save the resume. Make sure not to accidentally alter your master resume when drafting a new version. You can avoid this by using the “Save As” command instead of the Save button.

Add keywords that count. Look at the job posting — see if you can use the same terms and words in your resume. Keywords can make the early stages of the hiring process easier for recruiters. If you choose to use matching keywords, do so in a meaningful way.(Don’t just sprinkle the words randomly.)

Review as many times as you can. It is critical to review your work — once, twice, three times, more. Checking the print version of a resume is always best — long periods in front of a computer screen can cause unintended errors (that get missed).

If you’re exhausted, put aside editing your resume and go back to it at a time when you’re fresh. You’re content will be stronger and you’ll be less likely to make errors.

Creating a strong, organized and clean master resume is the key to a smart resume for every job you’re applying for, and makes the job search process easier.

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