Wait! You have a master resume, don’t you?

young businessman on white background. Hands on head. high-key. uploaded by Drew Carey career coach in Indianapolis Indiana 46240Oh boy, this came up today with a client. The way she described
re-saving her resume made it clear that she had removed old jobs but didn't keep them in their own Word document saved as "Master-Resume_YourName.doc" They were lost forever. That face in the photo on the right is about how I looked when I figured this out.

Please keep a master copy of your resume! In other words, don't edit your current resume and remove old jobs and re-save it as your new current resume. You should save every old job you've had, back to college or high school, along with the job duty bullet points and accomplishments, in a master resume. Sure, you don't have to put (and shouldn't) put down the job you had 30 years ago, but there may come a time when you can use that old job and put it in an "Other Experience" section of a customized resume.


I recently went back into my "Career" folder on my computer and copied all the old jobs from every resume version I had kept for the past...well, it's a lot of years! I had about 40 various versions based on where I was in my career, as well as all those versions I created for a specific job I was applying to. I pasted these old jobs from past resumes into a new document and saved it as my master resume.

Interviewers reviewing a resume uploaded by Drew Carey Career Coach in Indianapolis indiana 46240

You can certainly hold onto all those old resumes, but it makes it difficult to find the job you want to promote about yourself.

I became a coach seven years ago after a long career in healthcare marketing and corporate communications. I knew I had really cut the cord on my old career when I deleted my skill endorsements on LinkedIn that had anything to do with marketing. I didn't want people thinking, "Is he a coach or is he a marketer?"

But the resume is a different story. There are actually coaching jobs out there for which my marketing background is really beneficial. With a master resume, I can just go back and pull out those old jobs and put them in a new section below "Professional Experience" called "Other Experience." I don't need to use dates of employment with these jobs, because I am using the jobs as supporting evidence for my ability to use other skills I have developed over the course of my career.

I created a handout explaining the master resume, as well as the two other resume types everyone should have - a networking resume and a job-specific, targeted resume. You can download a copy of it here.