Any job posted on online boards today gets hundreds of resumes submitted. The quantity received by HR recruiters is so overwhelming that jobs are frequently taken down within hours. With so many resumes hitting a recruiter's desk, how can you differentiate your application, particularly when your experience is unconventional?
Although it's recommended to tailor your resume to the job, with only hours to spare, it's not always time-efficient to rewrite a resume. To respond in a timely fashion to unique opportunities I created a new technique - the Resume Addendum.
Why I Needed an Addendum
In my job search, I was attracted to posts in industries where my skills were applicable but my most recent industry affiliations were not. I had been a marketing director for many years, but in the latter years my resume was heavily weighted in the media. Since my resume had been tailored to highlight just the last 15 years of my career, much of my original experience and training in alternative industries such as health care were no longer obvious.
The first key difference was in the opening of each document. My resume started with my contact info and a summary of my senior-level marketing experiences. In stark contrast, the addendum started with an aggregated total of specific industry experiences, and showcased relevant education certifications and conferences that were not in my resume.
Although my masters' degree was on my resume, it was at the bottom well after more timely professional experience, and it did not mention the health certification. The degree on my resume served to qualify me for positions that required advanced degrees, but the certification was not relevant. On the addendum, the certification was critical to show industry-specific training.
Addendums versus Resumes
Other contrasts between the two documents included:
The Resume had dates. The Addendum did not.
The Resume had no health care references and some association experience. The Addendum only had health and association references.
A Resume can be longer than one page. An Addendum is one page.
In general, my resume showcased my most recent and digitally engaging marketing accomplishments. In contrast, my addendum highlighted older training and experience relevant for the targeted industry.
For instance, in my job at the Press of Atlantic City my resume highlighted my digital revenue projects, audience growth initiatives in social media, and events management. The addendum detailed the health care clients and projects that fell within my larger job responsibilities.
After the intro shown in the resume example, my detailed Press experience fills a full half page of a two-page resume. The Press experience on the addendum is limited to exactly what's shown above, but only discusses health-oriented experiences.
The Addendum never replaces a resume. It is, as titled, an addition to the resume to provide pertinent information. In my case I had two addendums. One was specifically for association jobs in any field from construction to engineering. The second combined health care and association experiences and was sent to associations such as the American Heart Association and National Celiac Foundation, both of which resulted in interviews.
The addendum serves one other purpose. With dozens of resumes that essentially look alike, the Addendum can catch a recruiter's eye just because it is different. It's a case of adding a page to catch attention. A Resume Addendum is not for everyone, but for several job postings it worked to get me an initial interview, and it may work for you.