Should an online resume be different than a physical copy hand delivered?

This is a question that I've pondered recently, and with many companies not accepting physical resumes, and instead asking applicants to go online instead, is there something to be said with having different resumes for online applications vs hand delivered? What about the cover letter?

ashdenver's picture

I have my Word resume with spiffy formatting (auto-bullet points) and I have a TXT version in which the bullet point becomes an asterisk and everything is pretty much left-justified but the content and overall format remains the same.

The cover letter goes in the body of the email or in the "additional information" area of the online application, if they don't already have a section for "Cover Letter."  The cover letter is customized for the specific job with the specific company.

DiSC profile: 7-2-1-5

carguin's picture

If you keep two versions, you have to consider the maintenance of both of them. People have enough trouble maintaining one copy, never mind two! Given the general form of the advice in the resume podcast, I would say that you should make your resume as easy to update as possible, and worry more about it's content then it's form.

I recommend writing your resume in something that can easily be exported to a web-friendly format (PDF or HTML). That way you only have to actively maintain one version, but you can produce the other one easily when necessary. Most Office suites can manage that these days, so you just need to try it and see if it produces something reasonable.

Being a techie, my resume is written in HTML and I can apply a different CSS stylesheet to produce a print version versus a web version. I can easily produce a PDF version when necessary.


Chris Arguin

ashdenver's picture

As I understand it, the MT philosophy is to have multiple versions of one's resume, specifically tailored for particular jobs - highlighting ABC for an ABC-type of job while downplaying XYZ, another version highlilghting XYZ for an XYZ-type of job while downplaying ABC.  Following the single-page format that MT suggests, it's virutally impossible to include ALL of the things we do in our jobs everyday so it only makes sense to have several versions of the resume.  I believe there's also a recommendation to keep a "work history" document which would carry resume-ready bullet points of accomplishments & such which can then be used to build a tailored resume on the fly. 

On a side note, I can't remember the last time I turned in a printed copy of my resume.  I bring them with me on interviews in case someone doesn't have a copy but I've applied solely with .doc or .txt files for the last .... ten or fifteen years, I'd guess.

DiSC profile: 7-2-1-5

tlhausmann's picture
Licensee BadgeTraining Badge are right. The "career management" document is used to track accomplishments. When you update the CM regularly you have items to pull into a resume as needed.

I believe the MT recommendation is to update your CM (and/or resume) no less than quarterly.

If you are in a hurry then start listening at the 38:30 mark where the discussion begins and how often to update your resume.