What is a master resume?

cars on highwayDo you know what I mean when I say you need a master resume? I mean you need one solid document that spells out every detail of your career life from day one. This document evolves at every step of your career journey. It should include the dates of employment, names and addresses of employers, job descriptions, college jobs and job gaps, salary history, promotions, key words, key accomplishments, training, several close coworkers names and contact information (personal, as well as business, because people change jobs), supervisors names and contact information, your personal addresses, and even why you left that job. You may even want to include a statement that you develop to put a good spin on a job that had a questionable ending. This document is for you and only you.

I’m sure you now wonder why your basic resume isn’t good enough. One reason is that your career will span decades. You won’t remember the details twenty years in the future. Now, I can hear some of you saying that everyone knows you drop jobs that go back more than ten years off of the resume. That is often true for job hunting. However, it won’t help you when you need to track down a retirement account after the company name changed three times. Worse yet, you may have moved and forgotten to notify them. It also won’t help you when you get an offer for a government job that requires a background check that may go back many, many years. These projects require accurate details right down to zip codes, neighbor’s names, and phone numbers. No one knows they need this information until they need it.

A much more important reason is to make targeted resumes and interviews stronger. A master resume makes it easy to have several well focused resumes prepared. These can be modified quickly to personalize the response to each opportunity. The master also documents useful details to make your cover letter stand out. It’s easy to prepare for interviews and answer those tough stress questions when you have accurate information to offer. In addition, you create a long term networking and reference tool too.

My way of doing this is to create the master document and format it. Then, I can save it several times as a new document and strip the unnecessary information, along with adding specific details for multiple targeted job searches (such as a resume for a management position and a resume for a lead technical position). Be careful doing this! It’s critical not to leave in the wrong information. You won’t get a job by telling the employer how you reworded the reason you left a job where you hated the boss.

If you just need a little help, I have special discounts for quick reviews and tips. I also offer a full set of services, including resume(s), cover letter(s), interview preparation, and job search set-up, monitoring, and strategies.