First, you should know that some people strongly believe that you should customize your resume for each job you apply to, and in fairness, you should read those viewpoints and make up your own mind. But I believe it’s a smarter strategy to have just one version of your resume.

When clients tell me that they customize their resume for each job to make it a better fit, I ask:

are you a different person when you apply for Job A than when you apply for Job B?


Then why would you need a different resume for different jobs?

People who are open to a variety of career options are most insistent that they need to tailor their resume. They believe that by emphasizing one thing over another, or eliminating certain job functions, that they’re focusing each version of their resume on what a particular employer is looking for.

An alternative to customizing your resume for each job

Doesn’t it make more sense to tailor the list of jobs you apply for to better fit who you actually are? Yes, this probably means that the number of jobs that are a good fit is smaller, but that’s a good thing. As I wrote in “253 Jobs I didn’t Get,” applying for everything that seems remotely suitable is highly unproductive behavior.

Focus on what fits. Don’t tailor yourself to fit jobs.

So, please don’t have more than one resume for different jobs. When reviewing potential positions to apply for, come up with a short list of positions for which the person you actual are represents a good fit. In other words, let your resume showcase your authentic self.