Tell me. How many jobs have you/would you apply for? Three? Five? Ten or more? That’s pretty common, and that’s a lot of applying. I probably applied to about ten different places before I got my first “real” (aka not pet sitting) job. Those ten different places all had different requirements and therefore needed different resumes.
The biggest mistake that job applicants, whether in or out of college, can make is to not tailor their resume for different job titles. That is what I am going to talk about today.
Why do you need multiple resumes?
Simply, each position you apply for will be at least a little different. You need different skills for a writing job than you do for a design job. Unless you only apply for one job or for one super niche industry, you’ll need a couple different resumes.
It’s all in the job description.
When you go to job search, you need to figure out what the job duties include as well as any education or experience requirements there are for the job. The job description will tell you just what the employer is looking for in a job candidate, which will then tell you what your resume should highlight.
Obviously, I am not advocating for lying on your resume. That’s not good; if you get hired, you could end up in a troubling situation if you lied on your application. So don’t lie, but you can format your resume to show the strengths that a company might be looking for.
Show off your strengths.
Using myself as an example, I am going to show you how I would tailor my resume for a copy writing job.
I have had three big jobs that I would put on my resume. I worked for almost two years at a fast food place, I am a writer for my school’s paper and I run this blog.
The writing experience I have can help build my case for getting the job, but what do I do about that fast food job? Do I leave it out? No. Under the job title, I can list some of the responsibilities I had while working there.
I could emphasize the communication part of that job. I interacted with people, both staff members and customers, on a daily basis. Also, I know how to communicate effectively.
I can also talk about the time management as had to maintain while working. Time management is a valuable skill for any job. When working in the drive thru of the restaurant, I had to take orders, deal with the money and bag the orders all on my own. That’s a lot of work, and I believe that proves I can manage my time and switch between tasks quickly and easily.
Another skill as would highlight is the ability to execute orders quickly. I had to input orders into the computer and then bag them as quickly as possible. That shows that I know how to work under pressure and under impending deadlines.
The last skill I would add to my resume would be my planning and organizational skills. Working in a fast paced environment requires you to plan ahead for issues and to be organized. I had to plan for the busy rush hour of my shift so I would have to make sure everything was well stocked ahead of time.
Chronological or Skill based?
There are two main types of resumes that you can have: chronological or skills. I don’t think that either is better or worse than the other, but there are some things to consider when deciding which is best for you.
If you have a ton of experience in the industry for which you are applying, a chronological resume is the way to go. It will show your experience in the reverse order of when each job occurred.
If you want to apply for a job that is unrelated to your previous jobs, a skills based resume would work better. You would list your jobs out of order time wise based on the skills you used in those jobs.
This is also the way to go if you have been out of the workforce for a significant amount of time. You won’t have to explain that break like you would if your resume was in chronological order.
You might have a resume or two that is chronological and a couple that are based on your skills. Both formats have their own benefits.
Have you created different resumes for different jobs? How did you make them different? What tips do you have for creating multiple resumes? Let me know in the comments below! Also, be sure to check out my latest post and follow me on Twitter (@HannahHaefele) so you don’t miss future updates!
Thanks for reading!