At one point in my career during a job hunting spree, I applied for quite a few jobs. Like a thousand. Ok, maybe I exaggerate. But it was enough to wonder why the heck I wasn’t getting hired. Or even interviewed. I’m guessing my resume probably went to File 13. It wasn’t because my resume wasn’t good. It was because my resume tried to reflect all the many “hats” I wore. What can I say. I didn’t want to sell myself short.
If you work in the government/non-profit arena like I mostly have, or you have held multiple positions within a company, stepping into interim positions when needed, you know what it’s like to fill numerous roles. In the realm of limited budgets, where dollars are stretched, you may find yourself managing a budget, writing copy for the website, and taking out the trash. (I’ve been spotted filling up helium balloons at 6 am before a big event more times than I care to remember.)
I’m rather proud of the multi-faceted side of my skills. But this doesn’t always get you the job. As I’ve already done for many of my clients, building 2 or 3 really strong resumes that narrow in on your skills pertinent to the job will benefit you more in the long run. I have at least three for myself- student services, program/grant management and marketing specific. Because I did all three of these in some capacity or another in ALL of my positions for the last ten years (at least). As proud as I was, employers don’t need to know everything. They just need to know you are the right fit.
The hard part is narrowing it down. It takes a lot of work. People have an emotional connection to some things that MUST go on a resume! Yes, the exceptional management of friend chicken during your summer job in high school is great, but it may not be what your potential employer cares to know. If you are looking for positions across several industries, or you are doing some career soul-searching, having several versions of your resume focusing on a set of common skills/accomplishments will be of great benefit to you.