Why Creating Multiple Versions of Your Resume Works

Customising vs. different versions

Having multiple versions of your resume is different from tailoring your resume for a specific job application. Different employers will require different qualifications, skills and experience—even for the same job title. Making adjustments to your resume based on details in the job posting makes it more relevant to employers and gives you the best chance of standing out in the candidate pool. Indeed data shows that job seekers spend one hour on average revising or updating their resume before applying to a job posting.

Having multiple versions of your resume means creating a ‘core’ resume for each job title or skill set in your job search. For example, you may be open to both software engineer and data scientist positions. These are two different roles that require specific skills and experience. In this case, you should have one resume for software engineering and one for data science. You can then revise and tailor the right core resume to fit the job description. Doing so can make your job search more efficient, leading to better outcomes more quickly.

How to know when you need more than one version of your resume

Before making multiple versions of your resume, it’s important to consider whether it’s necessary for your job search. Here are a few instances in which having multiple versions of your resume may be beneficial:

  • You have held both individual contributor and people manager positions, and are open to either.
  • You are in a hybrid role performing the functions of two separate positions. For example, you may be a human resources generalist who also does full-cycle recruiting. In this example, you would be qualified for a human resources generalist and a recruiting role.
  • You’ve gained several transferable skills in your position, and are open to other, relevant roles. For example, a customer service representative may be qualified for a sales role based on the overlapping soft skill requirements.
  • You’re seeking a career transition into a new vertical, but are open to opportunities in both the new vertical and your current job title.

How to create another version of your resume

Once you’ve decided it’s appropriate to have multiple versions of your resume, spend some time reading four to five job descriptions for each job title/s you want to create a core resume for. Doing so will help you gain a good understanding of common requirements, qualifications and skills.

In the following segment, we’ll explore each section of your resume and ways you might consider adapting them when creating new core resume types. For the examples below, we will use a job seeker who is currently working as a customer service representative but is also open to sales positions.

Adjust your summary

A resume summary statement is a two- to three-sentence introduction at the top of your resume that highlights your most valuable skills and experiences. The resume summary can help employers quickly learn whether you have the skills and background they require.

In this section, you should highlight the skills and qualifications that are specific and relevant to the position. You can find out which of these the employer values most by carefully studying job descriptions for each role.

Example for a customer service representative resume

Customer service representative with 3+ years’ experience working with clients, resolving complex customer inquiries and complaints. Passionate about helping customers navigate products and services, increasing customer loyalty and driving brand loyalty.

Example for a customer service representative resume

Sales and customer service professional seeking sales representative opportunities. 3+ years of experience resolving complex customer inquiries, upselling and cross-selling products when appropriate and increasing customer loyalty in a fast-paced call center environment.

Related: Writing a Resume With No Experience

Add relevant skills

The skills section of your resume shows employers you have the qualities and technical abilities required to succeed in the role. Often, employers pay special attention to the skills section of your resume to determine if you should move on to the next step of the hiring process.

This is an opportunity to highlight soft and hard skills specific to the job title you’re applying for. You may consider including any education you’ve taken up in your own time, such as trainings or courses, in this section.

Example for a customer service representative resume:

Customer Service Skills: Adaptability | Efficient problem solving | Patience | Consistency | Written and verbal communication
Technical Skills: JIRA | HTML | Salesforce

Example for a customer service representative resume:

Sales Representative Skills: Lead qualification | Closing skills | Sales presentations and demos | >Relationship building | Critical thinking | Self-motivated
Technical Skills: JIRA | HTML | Salesforce
Trainings: The Art of Sales: Mastering the Selling Process (2019), Successful Negotiation: Essential Strategies and Skills (2020)

Tailor your work experience

The work experience section of your resume shows the hiring manager whether you have the necessary skills and experience to succeed in the role you’re applying for. This section should showcase your main responsibilities as well as accomplishments to distinguish you from other applicants. This section is also an opportunity to showcase any relevant impact you’ve had in previous roles.

When creating the experience section for your resumes, consider emphasising the experience that is most transferable to each position. Because recruiters typically only spend a few seconds reading over resumes, it is best to ensure they are absorbing the information that’s going to be most relevant to that role.

Example for a customer service representative resume:

TRADELOT, Customer Service Representative Jan 2017 – Present
• Resolve 300+ customer complaints per week via phone and email, consistently exceeding targets
• Pioneer development of improved system for following up with unsatisfied customers, reducing customer churn by 6%
• Train and mentor four new employees on conflict resolution, JIRA and Salesforce CRM
• Propose more efficient call script to reduce average customer handling time, which was well-received and implemented by management
• Achieve 97% average customer satisfaction rating to date, surpassing team goal by 12%

Example for a customer service representative resume:

TRADELOT, Customer Service Representative Jan 2017 – Present
• Engage with 300+ customers per week, building rapport as a personable and trusted representative
• Consistently achieve 120% monthly upselling quota, generating ~100K in annual revenue
• Employed market research to successfully generate new leads for upselling by conducting cold calling (~25/day) and email prospecting (~50/day)
• Participate in sales training events and conferences to continually develop skills and gain product knowledge
• Train and mentor four new employees on conflict resolution, JIRA and Salesforce CRM

Additional resume tips

Include relevant projects

If you’ve completed any personal projects to help you stand out among the competition, consider adding a ‘Projects’ section to your resume. This section can be helpful to show off skills that were created outside of your work experience. For example, if one of the roles you’re applying for requires more technical skills that you developed in your own time, showcase them in your ‘Projects’ section.

Stay organised

Applying for more than one job title/role can take more time and organisation. Consider staying organised by dedicating time to search and apply for one role at a time vs. looking for all opportunities at once. For example, if you’re interested in software development and product management jobs, block off one hour to search and apply for software development roles, and one hour to search and apply for product management roles. This can help your job search feel focused and structured.

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