One Easy Way to Manage Multiple Resumes

John Scott
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One of the costliest mistakes a job seeker can make is to approach a resume as if it were a form letter. Career experts recommend tailoring your submission to each individual company and position, which means you might need to create dozens or even hundreds of resumes and cover letters before receiving a job offer. Luckily, a number of resume tips address this issue, and there are now some innovative software applications that can do a lot of the repetitive work for you.


Job requirements don't always overlap within fields, which is why personalized resumes are so important. Ideally, a resume should acknowledge every specification listed in the ad for a particular job, whether that's superior communication skills or basic accounting experience. As you amass resumes, managing them well is important. Otherwise, you risk showing up to an interview with the wrong piece of paper.


Your first step should be to create a unique name for each file. One sensible naming convention involves your first and last name and the month and year of application. For detailed information at a glance, append the file name with the job title and name of the company. This method will help both you and the hiring manager keep track of the resume.


Spreadsheets are immensely helpful for managing a large resume collection. Descriptive file names make it easy to locate a file on your computer, but they're not especially effective for tracking in the long term. Spreadsheets allow you to view as much relevant information as you want in neatly organized, easy-to-scan columns. Useful columns might include the interview date, salary, ad location, recruiter's name, and contact details. Seeing these details side-by-side lets you quickly assess your applications' status, overall progress, and each resume's success rate. For greater flexibility, Google Spreadsheets or similar cloud-based programs will let you modify data at any time or location as long as you have an internet-connected device.


Some applications have been designed specifically for organizing multiple resumes. For example, ResumeTracker lets you create an entry for each resume, link the corresponding Word document to it, and label the entry according to common data points such as the date and position name. The Web app TrackMyCV gives you insights into the recruiter's mind, utilizing an invisible tracking image to determine when and where your resumes were opened. You can then manage this data on the app's website or copy it into your spreadsheet.


Job searching is hectic and can be stressful, but getting a handle on your resumes can reduce some of that stress. Common resume tips emphasize the importance of labeling your efforts methodically, whether through spreadsheets or by using online software. Whatever you do, don't wait until you've sent the wrong resume to the wrong recruiter. Keep your files in check from the start.


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