I have four (4). That might seem a little excessive, but let me explain what they are, what information I put on them and who/ what they’re geared towards.
I have my “general” résumé. This résumé list every recent position I’ve ever held. Nothing on this résumé goes back any further than seven (7) years. The goal is to show that my experience and skill set is relevant and up-to-date. Also, because this is a general résumé, it shows that I’ve worked, can work, have been working, am currently working, know how to work, and so forth. In other words, it says I’m employable. In addition to the seven years of work history, it has my education that includes degrees and certificates I’ve earned, seven years of any volunteering I’ve done, software programs I know and have mastered, computer skills, and any promotions or awards I’ve earned. Simple enough.
I have my “entrepreneurial” résumé. This is the one I shop around. Because I am a part-time business owner and I freelance, I want to show prospect clients and partners the work I’ve done and the aims of the businesses I either started or was asked to be a part of. There’s no limit of years of experience on this résumé. All experience is relevant. I list the businesses I’ve started, who my clients were, the work I performed for them and the outcome. Education, certifications, licenses, and related pro bono work goes on this résumé, as well as any computer software systems that relate to the industry of my businesses.
I have a “combination” résumé. It is what it sounds like. The best of my work history and the most successful of my businesses projects. It shows prospect employers and clients that I know how to lead and follow. It shows that I know how to be the decision maker and a contributing team member. It’s probably best not to go back more than 10 years of experience on this résumé with the exception of the entrepreneurial side. This résumé is me picking and choosing the best representations of my work, style and ambition. Yes, education goes on this one, as well as any volunteering/pro bono work, memberships of any relevant organizations and software programs.
And finally, my writing and marketing résumé. Or, the “interest” résumé. This is the résumé that I’ve constructed strictly on my professional interests. And for me, that’s writing and marketing. So this résumé as all relevant and recent positions I’ve had that show cases my writing and marketing skills. Nothing else goes on this résumé. All activities and memberships and software knowledge needs to be marketing and writing related,otherwise, it gets booted. Simple as that.
So, how many résumés do you need to have? It depends on your professional goals. Maybe you want to work for yourself one day. Maybe you want to be a top executive at a Fortunate 500 company. Whatever it is, build your résumé around your experience to show where you want to go. A general rule, though: more than one helps.