"Sue hates resumes!" one job seeker said as a discussion started about whether to have two resumes to apply for different jobs. It’s a fair question when you hear a lot of advice saying a resume should be targeted to the job you’re applying for.
Here's what I really think:
The goal of a resume is never to get a job. NO resume can get you a job. A person will get you a job, a person who senses that you are the fit they need.
The goal of a resume development process is to find out who you are, how to articulate who you are, how to interview as who you are, to find out what jobs you're going to apply for in the first place and to whom you need to speak to be found for the job you desire.
The goal of a job search is to be found by an employer who wants to hire you, just you, and nobody else but you. How do they know when they've found you? Because you sound just like the person they need - maybe even more clearly than they realized at first.
Sounding like who you are in all your complexity is exactly what is required. When we tailor resumes to jobs, we take out the complexity or add it in, but we do not sound like our true selves.
The concept of multiple resumes fits neatly into the online job site world of Applicant Tracking Systems, that scan for certain key words that will pass your resume (notice I didn't say it would pass you) into a pile that someone needs to go through to find the people they will interview.
While all this ATS work is going on, other people are being referred to this employer by humans inside and outside the organization who know people who would like the job and would be a good fit. It's very hard to "win" a job through a job board!
So please! Pour every effort into writing the best resume you possibly can and learning all you can about your strengths, desires, and experiences. And then use it sparingly - as support for your candidacy after the perfect job for you has been discussed.
There's a lot more to job seeking in this era than ever before. I've worked in this changing field for 20 years with over 3900 job seeking professionals. The trends and data are clear.
People hire people, not resumes.