In a military battle, there tends to be an advance guard that moves forward of the main army group. The advance guard's purpose is to prepare the way for the main fighting force. Behind the main force is generally the rear guard. You are the main fighting force and the battlefield is the interview. Your foe is all the other applicants, all your shortcomings, all the misgivings and doubts that interviewer may have, and the needs and wants of that interviewer.
This almost precludes sending out mass resumes or dropping off 50 resumes at a job fair. Having multiple or adaptable resumes mean researching and targeting. In essence you should have two core resumes. The first resume is the one that you would send ahead. The second resume would be the one you leave behind after the interview. Because while I do think that Richard Bolles is dead on, sometimes you have to send a resume ahead of you.
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Wow, that is just depressing! How many, many resumes must a person send out before realizing that this is a broken path for many of us. For every successful job seeker, I am guessing there are probably many, many more that did not succeed. Although I have mixed feelings about the value or viability of sending out resumes to openings, I would not dispute the importance of a well-constructed resume. My only concern is how it is used. I am a big believer in Richard Bolles' statement that resumes are something you leave behind versus something you send ahead.
While not all ATS will scramble your resume like this, many will. The trouble is, you have no way of knowing if the recruiter for that great job is using one that is user friendly to your resume or not. The solution is never to use a resume format that runs the risk of getting abused by technology. There are best resume formats that are safe to use and will avoid your resume going into that dreaded "resume black hole."
For a good number of folks, job search equals resume. Job search equals scanning as many help wanted pages as possible and mailing resumes wherever possible. It also includes attending as many job fairs as possible. And lastly, it would include applying to as many online job postings as possible on Monster.com or Careerbuilder.com or any job board on the internet.
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