5 Steps to a Great Resume – Versions – Lesson 5

If you’ve gone through the first 4 lessons in this series, you now have your general resume. You might actually be ready to start submitting your resume, unless . . .

Have you ever had a recruiter call you for a position that would be ideal for you and, although you have the experience, your resume does not put enough emphasis on that experience? Or maybe you’ve worked in several different industries and want want to focus on one particular industry. While one resume version (what I call “general” or “generic” resume) works well for some people, there are many people who should have multiple versions of their resume.


Why Have Versions: There are many reasons why you may need (and should have) multiple resume versions. Remember, too much of a good thing might actually be too much. Balance how many resumes you need with where you will get the most value. The most common reasons are:

  • Multiple Industries – Maybe you’ve worked in several different industries but in similar roles. Let’s say, as an example, you are an accountant and worked at an aircraft manufacturer but have also worked at an automobile manufacturer.  You’ve decided to find a new job, but want to focus on aircraft manufacturing.
  • New Industry – Using the example from above, perhaps you would like to work for a company that manufactures satellites. You need to re-write your resume to focus on the skills that would be relevant to your new industry.
  • Different Roles – Let’s say that you have a lot of experience but have worked in different roles in your career. While you would be open to any of these roles in a new company, you may need to have resume versions that focus on one of these roles.
  • Career Change – Maybe you want to something completely different than prior jobs. Maybe you’ve just graduated from school with a new (but different) degree/training. Whatever the reason, you need to have a version of your resume that focuses mostly on the skills that are required in the new career.
  • Resources:

Version Types: There are several types of versions you can have, depending on your needs and the purpose:

  • What You Do – Focusing on the type of role/position you want as your new job drives the focus of this resume. If you worked in Marketing and Sales but want to focus on Marketing side, then your resume should be a functional design with a focus on your marketing skills.
  • Where You Work – Maybe it’s not about what you do, but where you do it (meaning your industry).  In that case, you will want your resume to focus on industry specific skills versus role specific skills. This is still considered a skills based resume (like the one above), just a different skills focus.

Keeping Track: Okay, you’ve got these great multiple resumes, now you just need to keep track of which one you’ve sent to who. If you read our post on using Indeed.com  (How to Use Indeed.com for Your Job Search – Part 1) you will know that most sites allow you to upload your resume. A few (Indeed.com is not one of them) allow you to upload multiple documents and resumes. Most of these are company career sites and not search engines. There are a few software/spreadsheet solutions (see below), or you can use the good old fashioned spreadsheet (like Google Docs spreadsheet app which is free).  Some resources to help:

  • Trackmycv.com – Take a look at this site. Take a look at the screenshots. I’ve not tried it myself.
  • Job Search Tracking Tool – This is a spreadsheet from the University of Wisconsin’s career site. The link to the left will download an Excel file. If you are more comfortable visiting their career site first, click here

Other Resources – Some great books on Resumes (from Amazon):

Also take a look at our other resume lessons (see below).

5 Steps to a Great Resume:

We are always eager to hear from our readers. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or suggestions regarding CareerAlley content.

Good luck in your search,


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