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What Goes Where?

Are you asking the right questions about your resume?

Among the most potent weapons in your job-search arsenal – to no one’s great surprise – is your resume.

Job seekers slave for hours trying to determine what to include, what to exclude, what font, when bold, when italics, etc. Then when all is said and done, they’re told that they need to have different versions for live submissions and copies sent to the ATS – automated tracking system.

There is a lot of good advice as to how to navigate the ATS – much of it can be found in our very own Archives. All that said, the truly definitive guide to ATS is still evolving. That’s due in part to the fact that ATS is still evolving. There are many different versions out there each of which parses resumes in its own way.

Back to the matter at hand

How many different versions of your resume should you have? Some say you should have a unique, tailored resume for each job application. At the other end of the spectrum, some say your background and experience don’t change, so one version is sufficient. We tend to come down on the former.

But is the question really what to include on one version or another? Or, should you be looking at your background, experience and expertise as tiles on a game board to moved around and highlighted or not based on the job’s or the employer’s particulars?

If an employer places a high value on credentials, lead with your education, life-long learning and accreditations. If an employer is results oriented, highlight your cost-cutting, or sales growth, or some other quantifiable achievement.

It’s analogous to the selling process (which, of course, is precisely what a job search is). Give the customers (the employers), what they want. That could be the fastest way to get what you want – the job!


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