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How To Achieve Multiple Career Goals

Jan 31, 2008
Many people aim to achieve different or unique career goals with their resume. And in today's environment, having multiple career goals isn't all that unique. Many individuals feel that different career goals require different resumes. Nothing could be further from the truth. It's certainly not necessary to have different resumes for each of your career goals.

The manner in which you construct an resume for multiple career goals does however depend upon how you prioritize and organize data. Furthermore, you must think about how you would answer the following questions: Are the career fields similar? Are the career fields diverse?

If the career fields you're considering are similar, then your resume can cover both the specific and general aspects of your experience. For example, if you've been a nurse, let's assume that you have worked in a hospital, served as an administrator of a nursing home, and taught nursing students. They are three distinct careers, but all basically related. A resume in this instance can be both general (for application to many jobs) as well as specific (targeting only one job). It all comes down to how you organize and prioritize the information on your resume.

For example, your Professional Experience can be broken down into three categories on your resume: Nursing Experience, Administrator Experience, and Teaching Experience. You can list the appropriate employer and duties listed within each section. Make sure to list them in reverse chronological order. Update your resume to promote the proper section. When applying for Nursing positions, that section would be listed first. When applying for a Teaching position, that section would be listed first. Using this approach, you can use one resume with only slight modifications for a number of postings.

What if you are considering diverse career fields? Today, many individuals are not only changing jobs, they are changing professions. For example, you may have begun your professional career in real estate, but then transitioned to the paralegal field, and finally chose yet another career in bookkeeping. These are three very different careers that would seem to require three separate resumes, but that's certainly not the case.

To avoid producing resume after resume for each job, and if at least some of the skills are transferable within different industries, then a functional format is best for you. Functional resume formats stress professional skills, rather than employers or industries. Instead of providing a reverse chronological resume that clearly shows that you've been moving from career to career and back, which some employers might find troubling, a functional resume states core qualifications beneath varying subheadings.

The example given above would warrant three or more subheadings. For example, Contract Negotiation (Real Estate); Sales (Real Estate); Contracts (Paralegal); Payroll (Bookkeeping). These subheadings can be organized in order of importance to the targeted position (eg: if Sales interests you, then you would list your Real Estate Experience first, followed by your other experience).

The subheadings can also show broad experience that could very well be valued in an economy where employees are expected to have diverse skills and perform many functions. This format allows you to turn your various jobs into a position of strength that illustrates your broad experience.

Before creating your resume, consider your background. Do you have a homogeneous background or one that's diverse? Also, consider your career goals. Are they aligned to a specific industry or job, or multiple ones? Answers to these questions will help you determine which form or resume is right for you.
About the Author
Michael Fleischner is the Managing Director of ResumeEdge which provides resume writing and other resume services, sample resumes, and much more.
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