Often controversial among those in career transition is the number of professional resumes that should be marketed. What is agreed is the fact that a resume must be professional, straight forward, free of typos, factual and contain impressive and quantifiable results which can be clearly relayed by sharing a situation, task, action and result. Employers and recruiters expect all potential candidates to be prepared to submit a resume. Certainly the difficulty, depending on how many resumes you have, could be “which one”?
Many networking organizations and social media sites such as HAPPEN, Monster, Linkedin, VisualCV, Indeed, CareerBuilder, ExecuNet and more offer an opportunity to post your resume online. If you believe a variation of resumes should be submitted to different companies and recruiting organizations the problem will arise when content from the resume submitted to apply for a specific position is compared to the resume which is posted online. There is no doubt that HR Professionals and Recruiters are checking out candidates online and a lack of consistent content could put your credibility at risk. This is no different than professional online profiles. Personal branding is a difficult endeavour without a consistent approach and it is unlikely you are an expert at everything. You only have one name, one job history and one education so market it accordingly. If you are focusing on a career transition, share that information in addition to the initiatives you have put in place to achieve this goal. Honesty will be received more positively than trying to doctor a resume to make yourself look like you are qualified for a position which may be a far stretch from your experience.
Is it important to apply directly to a specific company and position? Absolutely! No one will disagree with matching your qualifications, expertise and “fit” to a specific company and position. However, it is not a “public” resume that should be used to achieve this. It is a professional, personal and well composed Cover Letter! One which will highlight those specific achievements and skills among the many contained in your resume that correlate with those of the position you are applying for. Although a resume is a critical “selling document” which emphasizes the accomplishments throughout your career, it is a factual history and not a personal document. Quite the contrary to this is a cover letter. It is personal, addressed to the decision maker, acknowledges your investigative efforts to know all there is to know about their company and why you want to work for them. It documents the skills, expertise and accomplishments which will show you are the ideal candidate for the position!