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Sunday, January 14, 2007
Why You DON’T Need More than One Version of Your Resume
“I’m interested in taking my career in a couple of different directions in at this point. I think I need two different versions of my resume.” That was the comment from John, a new client who had a fifteen year career in sales and marketing with an increasingly responsible career progression.

John had started right out of college as an account executive with a company in the consumer products industry but had progressed up the ladder through technology and pharmaceutical sales until he was at the point where he was ready for a significant management position. Basically, John could sell anything and he had proven it. Now he wanted to target a national sales manager position or a sales training position but he was open to any of the three industries where his experience fell or even a new one. Because of the different responsibilities associated with both his target positions, he felt he would be better served by having two different resumes.

With a little questioning, I came to find out that John had arrived at this conclusion through the recommendation of a friend in HR and through reading a couple of articles he found online. The truth is John had been misinformed. Unless a job seeker is targeting two very divergent jobs (say financial analyst and veterinary technician), one strategically written resume serves perfectly to land interviews.

In discussing this issue with John, I explained to him the reasoning behind why our firm only recommends one resume. First of all, the job seeker has one career history and it’s in a set order of time. The resume will be written in reverse chronological order since that is the format that 99% of all hiring managers and recruiters prefer. The order of information within those jobs or the information that is include/excluded is set by the strategy of the document. Since John had both managed others in sales throughout his career and trained others also, he had the background throughout his career that qualified him for both targets.

In conducting his job search, we recommend that the resume remain the same but what needs to change is the cover letter. The cover letter is what should be changed and targeted to the specific position in question because it is the “introduction” that accompanies the resume and speaks directly to the recipient. The cover letter is a great tool for zeroing in on specific skills that make the job seeker uniquely qualified for the job. Changing a few sentences around in the resume or maybe changing a few words in a summary has little to no effect on whether the resume is going to win interviews.

Do you need two resumes? Rarely. Do you need a customized cover letter? Always.

November 2005 / December 2005 / January 2006 / February 2006 / March 2006 / April 2006 / May 2006 / June 2006 / July 2006 / August 2006 / September 2006 / October 2006 / November 2006 / December 2006 / January 2007 /


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