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Pro Tip: Try This Resume Trick and Never Forget Your Skills Again

Topics: Career Advice
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*Ping!* You’ve got a new message! It’s your dream job and you better apply RIGHT NOW!

How can you have your resume ready for any and all possible job opportunities? Try this simple method for keeping it all together, no matter what the job entails.

1. The Master Resume File

Keep a document (online or on your computer) where you list absolutely everything you’ve ever done. List every job you’ve had (professionally … no need to get into Babysitters’ Club territory) and every relevant skill, accomplishment, responsibility and work tidbit. You can keep things organized easily into sections, or just do it all chronologically. Use an online cloud document for on-the-go, or keep it simple on your home computer. (Just don’t get busted at your current job trying to find a new job.)

2. Divide (Your Skills) and Conquer (That Job Search)

Next, when a potential new opportunity comes up, use that master document to create a new, zeroed-in resume that perfectly sums up how ideally you’d fit the new job role. Pull in pertinent skills so you’re a keyword MASTER, defeating any and all HR application software that might chuck you out of the interview queue.

Do You Know What You're Worth?

Reddit user u/rlc327 brought up the technique in the forum recently and inspired an explosion of excitement over the idea.

One response, from Redditor dannyisagirl, included a tip on everything that could be included in the “master file.”

“To add to this, I actually keeps a spreadsheet with other information that might not be put on a resume,” they said. “Things like the full dates that I worked there, actual titles I held, actual duties vs ‘resume duties’ (a list of keywords that could work while remaining honest/accurate), pay rate, managers’/superiors’/good co-workers’ names and full titles, physical addresses and phone numbers, the real reason why that is no longer my job.”

3. Don’t Forget a References File or Portfolio Clips

Keep everything handy, including a list of (up-to-date) professional references and their contact info, as well as work samples you can share (great for writers, designers and others). You can even keep these in the cloud with an easily sharable link, like a custom URL. Use the link on your business card, or just have it ready to send a recruiter. If you don’t have time to make a personal professional website, having a few samples and some references to share at a moment’s notice is the next best thing!


What would you include in your own resume “master file”? We want to hear from you. Tell us your thoughts in the comments or join the conversation on Twitter.

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What Am I Worth?

What your skills are worth in the job market is constantly changing.