Blog & Detail

You Need More Than 1 Resume for Your Job Search

Every job you apply for should use a slightly modified version of your MASTER resume. What should be unique? Here are a few ideas:

  1. The exact job title you are applying for should appear in the version of your resume you use to apply - certainly at least once in your resume headline, but preferably two or three times throughout in your work experience. It is OK to modify your previous job titles as long as it is reasonably close, as many companies have different names for essentially the same position.
  2. Customize your professional summary to speak to your experience and qualifications relating to the role you are applying for (not your entire career). Remember that your resume isn't about you - it's your sales pitch to the hiring leader to convince him/her to hire you to help meet his/her goals. They will offer the candidate they most trust can do that.
  3. Bold the most important text throughout your resume that you want to be sure the hiring leader for that position will read. (S)he will be reviewing dozens - maybe even hundreds of resumes. The hiring leader isn't going to spend much time looking over most of them. Bolding key words or phrases will help draw attention to the most impactful reasons you should be selected for an interview. Choose wisely, as overdoing it has the opposite effect.
  4. Use the right numbers (quantified outcomes) to describe your past achievements. If you are applying for a sales role your work experience, skills, and professional summary should show how you helped to increase sales. On the other hand, if you are applying for a customer success role your resume should show how you helped to improve customer satisfaction, retention, referrals, share of wallet, etc.


Five Minute Resume makes this easier by allowing you to make a copy of any resume you create. Start by making a MASTER resume with everything in it (all skills, certifications, work experience, quantified outcomes, etc.), then for each job you are going to apply for make a copy of your MASTER resume and name that copy after the company and position you are applying for (e.g., 'ABC Corporation - Sales Representative IV'). You can even use this as a way to track the positions you have already applied for, which to follow-up on, which to move on from, and more.


You may also want a slightly modified version of your MASTER resume to optimize for different industries, small vs. large companies, local/domestic vs. multi-national companies, etc. You can create much of this in advance based on your MASTER resume, then tailor each copy for the specific company and position you are applying for.


The websites you are applying for jobs on use one of many Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), which look for certain words and amounts of experience, then ranks you against all the other applicants. The hiring leader will only see some of the resumes. With this in mind, think of each copy of your MASTER resume like a web page which needs search engine optimization (SEO) to be found on Google. The closer your resume matches the job posting and filter criteria, the more likely you will be selected for an interview.