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If you’re applying to several different types of positions, you may think that you need several versions of your resume in order to do so. And this is true – to an extent. Each time you submit your resume, it should be tailored to the specific job you are applying for. But that does not necessarily mean that you need to have separate versions of your resume that are distinctly different.

Building a Master Resume

Many job seekers can get away with having one main copy of their resume and adjusting it accordingly for different roles. These roles are likely fairly similar and require overlapping skills. The main content of your resume will remain the same, because what you’ve done in each position hasn’t changed. However, what you choose to emphasize may change.

It can be a good idea to keep a master version of your resume just for your own reference. On this copy, list everything you can think of as far as skills, accomplishments, projects, and results. This will give you a solid bank of information to draw from, but it is not a copy that you would submit to employers. As you tailor your resume to different positions, you can add or remove information to make it more relevant, and your master copy will provide material to do so.

Creating Separate Resumes

There are some instances where a completely separate and different version of your resume may be necessary. This could occur if you are trying to switch careers but may also want to advance in your current field. You may have one version of your resume geared to your new profession, and one for opportunities you find in your present career.

Another time this may apply is if you hold more than one job. Perhaps you work as a full-time accountant, but on the side, you work in event planning. If you’re looking for more event planning gigs, it probably doesn’t make much sense to have a resume focused on accounting. While that is an important aspect, you want to show more relevant experience. On the flip side, if you’re applying for accounting jobs, the host of weddings, baby showers, or product launch parties you’ve coordinated probably isn’t what a potential employer is looking for.

Finding Balance

Most job seekers, however, find that one main version of their resume will suffice, and that they can tweak it to fit several types of jobs. This primarily consists of revising the summary of qualifications and core competencies sections, and perhaps adjusting the order or focus of bullet points for each job. Creating an entirely new and different resume for each job could be creating a lot of extra stress and work that is ultimately unnecessary.