Are you torn between two or more career directions? Thinking about returning to a former career? Are you multitalented with the potential to perform more than one role?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you need to examine your resume strategy.
Many job seekers who are pursuing more than one objective make the mistake of preparing a one-size-fits-all resume. These resumes often include vague, objective statements: "Seeking a challenging position with potential for growth and advancement in a team-friendly environment." The problem with this approach is that the hiring manager may get confused about your objective, or frustrated that the key information needed to make a decision is buried within the resume.
If you have more than one career goal, the best strategy is to develop multiple resumes that target your different objectives.
Why Should I?
The most effective resumes focus on specific career goals. Hiring managers are busy and often process hundreds of resumes. They have a job opening and are looking for a candidate who meets their criteria. Resumes that appear to solve their problems will get a closer look, and the ones that are unfocused are often discarded.
Did you ever receive a promotional sales letter but were unsure about what the company was actually selling? If the marketer's message is unclear, the campaign is likely to be unsuccessful. The same goes for your resume, which is really just a sales piece designed to market your credentials. To maximize the success of your resume campaign, your resume needs to address the needs of your potential employer.
How Do I Determine If I Need More than One Resume?
- If your job targets are similar, you might do very well with only one resume. Think about whether or not the positions are intricately linked, requiring the same or similar skills, experience, training or personal attributes. If you decide the objectives are similar, use a tagline at the top of the resume that includes each job title. On your Monster resume, the Title section is a good place to include your goals. For example: "Director of Procurement/Commodity Manager."
- If your job targets are unrelated and would be considered distinct positions, you would probably be more successful with a different resume for each goal. A great way to decide how many resumes you need is to do a job search on Monster. Enter the keywords for your job titles and see how employers list the positions. If they always come up under separate listings, then you need separate resume versions.
How Do I Create Different Resumes?
Start with your objective or tagline, because these will differ depending on the job you target. Your resume challenge will be to highlight only the experience and training related to the particular goal. Follow your objective with a Highlights of Qualifications section, which provides the resume reviewer with the top reasons why you should be called for an interview (your highlights can be incorporated into the Objective section on your Monster.com resume). Even though your experience might be diverse, concentrate on including the main reasons why you're qualified for the goal listed on each resume.
When you describe your work history, emphasize your relevant experiences and achievements. Tone down any emphasis on jobs, skills, training and characteristics that are unrelated to your resume's goal. Also, keep in mind that Monster.com allows users to store up to five resumes in the system.
The Importance of Tracking
The downside to using multiple resumes is that you need to track where you distribute each version. Keep a log that includes company contact information, dates, resume version sent, your actions, company actions and follow-up needed. This will not only help you remember where you sent each resume but will keep your job search organized and on track.
If your career goals warrant it, writing a resume tailored for each objective allows you to directly appeal to the employer's needs. By distributing targeted resumes, you will grab the attention of hiring managers and increase your chances of getting that all-important job interview.