What Is A Master Resume And Why Do You Need One?

Posted On 2 Dec 2015

What Is A Master Resume And Why Do You Need One?

2 Dec 2015
What Is A Master Resume And Why Do You Need One?

What Is A Master Resume And Why Do You Need One?

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a tailored resume is better than a generic one. A recruiter takes approximately 6 seconds to skim through your resume, so your best chance of making a great first impression is ensuring that your resume is tailored to the role you are applying for. But tailoring your resume, as simple as it sounds, is such a time consuming process, especially when you are applying for multiple roles.

If only there was a way to simplify the tailoring process… Well, it turns out there is! If you’ve never heard the term ‘master resume’ before, prepare to revolutionise your thinking when it comes to the job application process.

What is a master resume?

A master resume is a document that houses every single job, skill, responsibility and qualification you have ever held in your life. Each time you start a new role, you populate this document with your experience and basically end up with one really, really long document that keeps everything in the one place.

Most importantly though, your master resume is never, ever to be submitted. Here’s where the target resume steps in…

Master resume vs. target resume

When it comes time to apply for a new role, open up your master resume and start hitting delete! Your goal is to take out anything that is irrelevant to the role you are applying for. This doesn’t mean you should start deleting entire roles from your resume – this will create gaps on your resume which isn’t a good look. But what you should do is cut the bullet points under each job down by at least half (assuming you have generously populated your master resume). The end result is a resume that lists only the duties, skills and achievements relevant to the role you are applying for. Just be sure to duplicate your master resume before you start tapping those keys!

Benefits of a master resume
  • Cut down application time – Take the burden out of resume writing by quite literally brain dumping every single thing you do in your job into your master resume as you go along. When you no longer have to stop and ask “Is it worth writing about xyz? Is this relevant?” you’ll find that application preparation is so much quicker.
  • Quick and easy progression check – A master resume is a great way to take a big picture look at your career. Ask yourself: “Am I heading in the right direction?” You’ll find it’s so much easier to answer this question is you can easily track your movement.
  • Great point of reference for interview prep – When you’ve finally landed an interview, you’re going to want start revising your past experience in order to answer the behavioural/competency questions that are bound to come your way. Keeping all your experience in one place is by far the easiest way to jog your memory.