Not seeing the results you expected in your job search? This frustrating cycle of applying to jobs, immediate rejection, and more hours of applying to jobs can be a signal that some needed customization is missing from your job search. The most effective way to do this is to have multiple resumes to showcase your skills in the right way. Here are 4 times when it makes sense to have more than 1 resume to use when looking for a new job:


Many people apply to multiple job titles for a number of reasons. But, different job titles mean different qualifications and requirements. Keeping your resume to the appropriate length means that you cannot fit all of your achievements or experience to fit the varying requirements into one document. So, it is probably time to create multiple resumes the varied job titles that you are targeting. When evaluating how many resumes to prepare, keep in mind:

  • Similar is not the same. The common ATS cannot interpret similar titles as meeting the requirement for a different job title. For example:
    • Business Development Manager v. Account Manager
    • Marketing Manager v. Social Media Manager
    • Attorney v. Associate General Counsel
    • Developer v. UX Designer
  • Keywords will vary. The keywords that are important for a resume for one role is simply different for other job titles. This is particularly important and the most overlooked fact when attempting to change career paths.
  • Focus. A resume with all keywords possible and achievements is generally too long and makes the person look indecisive. The better approach is to apply the seven-year-old test. If a 7-year-old couldn’t identify what job title you want when reading your resume, then it is probably time to prepare more than one resume.


Hiring managers in every industry look for the candidate’s experience in their particular industry or field. Creating multiple resumes with different industry focus can make a huge difference in any job seekers search. This is true even when applying to the same job title across multiple industries. It is probably time to create multiple resumes if you are targeting industries such as:

  • Healthcare. Whatever the job title, highlighting your experience in hospitals, private providers, medical devices, or pharmaceuticals can help you differentiate yourself from the competition.
  • Financial Services. This is a highly regulated industry and the hiring managers want to see that you know the rules and can follow them.
  • Academic Roles. From a non-faculty to a tenured track professor, the hiring manager is looking for a CV from applicants rather than a resume. This means including a number of facts about your academic or intellectual achievements that would probably not go on a typical resume.
  • Government. There are rules about what the hiring manager must know in order to pass you through to the next stage for most state or federal roles. Conform your resume to the format and information expectations or you are simply wasting time when applying for any government role. At the same time, using a government resume for a role in the private sector is a really bad idea.


Anyone with niche experience or a specialty in any field knows that this can be a double-edged sword. On one side, it can be great to present your specialized knowledge in a particular area of expertise. On the other side, it can limit your career opportunities as there are only so many roles available at any time interested in that particular expertise. Thus, it is probably a good idea to create multiple resumes when you have this background and are applying to:

  • Roles requiring expertise. When applying to these roles, you need a resume that focuses on your expertise and demonstrates that you are an expert in the desired field.
  • Expertise is helpful, but not required. Highlight your experience in the expertise, but make sure that your resume is broad enough to meet the rest of the qualifications for the role.
  • New fields. In this case, focus on the transferable skills that are relevant to your desired field that were built from the expertise instead of the actual expertise. (i.e. management, sales, problem-solving, communication, etc.)


Anyone who is primarily looking for jobs online will need to customize their resume and cover to a specific role. The online tools such as job boards, social media job boards, and Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) will be applying algorithms to your resume to determine how well it matches with the particular skills/requirements set forth in the specific posting. Your resume will be immediately rejected or tossed into the black hole if you fail to meet the standards of the online systems for the particular post. Skeptical? Keep in mind the following:

  • Over 70% of resumes are rejected by an ATS.
  • The average job posting receives at least 50 – 75 applications. In some highly desired companies that number can easily top several hundred within just a few hours of posting the ad.
  • The average recruiter spends 6 seconds skimming a resume.

Having a few customized resumes can make a huge difference in any job search. This is true no matter the stage of your career because all resumes go through the same process once they are submitted. Ready to stop the immediate rejections and start landing interviews? The resume writers of the Contingent Plan are ready to help. Contact us today to see if we can help put your job search on the right track!


With years of experience in the job acquisition field, Kathy has delivered exceptional service by providing in-depth knowledge about recruiting qualified employees, and crafting the perfect resume. The Contingent Plan comprises a team of expert recruiters, resume writers, and outplacement experts—all ready to help you! Read Kathy’s blogs, and discover simple tricks and tips to help you land the job of your dreams.