Ask Victoria: Should I resend my redone resume?

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Ever wonder what to do when you’ve just made a major overhaul to your resume? If you’ve been wondering whether you should reapply or let it go, read on!

Hi Victoria,

I read your blog post about re-sending a resume with a typo, however, I have a different situation.  I actually found a position that I’d be perfect for and sent my resume yesterday.  Then, after researching the current resume advice, I realized that my resume is much too long.  I’ve been working for almost 40 years and am a senior-level executive – so I put down a lot of stuff…and my resume was about six pages long.

Now that I’ve re-done it and made the relevant changes, should I resend my redone resume or just forget about it?  I could probably change my email address and send from a different email if that would make any difference. Please advise?

Thanks so much, 

Martina

Hi Martina,
Thank you for your note. Congratulations on taking new steps in your job search and recreating your resume. That definitely takes a lot of work and commitment.
The answer to whether or not you should resend your resume is not a simple “yes” or “no”. Even after identifying what seems like the best option in your specific scenario, there really is little way to know for sure how the employer will view your updated application (or if he or she will even notice!). So let’s look at a few things that might help you make a decision:
Size of the organization:
Assume that the larger the organization, the less likely it is that the hiring manager will know that you submitted your application twice. Many times, large organizations will use an applicant tracking system (ATS), so your first goal is to get past that system. This will require using the right keywords and including the qualifications that the organization is seeking. Qualifications will be listed in the job description itself, as will the keywords.  Many job seekers get hung up on “keywords”, but an easy way to demystify them is to pull out the hard skills listed in the job description, as well as any words (aside from “and” or “the”) that are repeated throughout the listing. Assume that the words that are repeated are the ones the organization values.

When you are applying to a smaller organization, the recruiter and/or hiring manager may be reviewing resumes by eye rather than letting an ATS do a first pass. If the applicant pool is smaller, it is much more likely that your double application will be noticeable. Opinions of whether a resubmission is admirable are as varied as the people who make the hiring decisions (more about this below).

Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS):

I mentioned the function of the ATS above, but it bears repeating again because the situation varies even among organizations that use them. With some systems, you may not be afforded the option to send a new application for the same job, or to upload a new version of your resume and resubmit it for a job you’ve already applied to. One way you might be able to work around this is to set up a completely new candidate profile with a different email address. But again, the jury is out on whether the hiring manager or recruiter will a) notice that you applied twice and b) how that individual will view your new application.

The person reviewing your resume: 
To some, the fact that you updated your resume and made your application better will be a noteworthy gesture that gives them a positive impression. It may indicate to the hiring manager that you are committed to excellence, to constantly improving yourself, and to going the extra mile to do a better job. Some may interpret it differently: that you make hasty decisions or submit work before you’re ready. It’s really a matter of going with your gut on this one.
Come on, Victoria. How can your answer just be, “it depends”?! 
I know it’s not the answer you probably wanted to hear. Unfortunately, there’s really no way of knowing for sure. However, should you decide to resend your application, there is something that might make a difference.
If you do resend your application….send it with a cover letter
And not just any old cover letter. All cover letters clearly define why you are interested in this particular organization and its mission and the role itself. How did your interest in this role factor into your decision to send your resume again? Use your new resume to effectively weave the story of your work history into your interest in the position to which you are applying. If you were making the hiring decision and came across your two applications, what would you want to know about the person? What would be a convincing argument to you, one that would prompt you to call the candidate in for an interview? Be sure to address that in your letter.
If it’s an online application process and there is no space that allows you to submit documents other than your resume, you can include your cover letter in the same file as your resume.
To your success,
Victoria

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About Author

I became acquainted with Idealist in late 2000 while working in the career development office at a private liberal arts college in NYC. I used it almost daily to help students and alumni find meaningful careers. After a 12-year stint in higher education, I worked as a career coach for professionals in various industries (and still used Idealist). During one of those many searches, a listing really caught my eye- the one for the newly-created position, Careers Program Coordinator. So... I jumped at the opportunity. Since then, I took on the role of Manager of Career Content for Idealist Careers, creating career content for job seekers, leaders, and other nonprofit professionals. Understanding the roles that a positive outlook and holistic self-care play in career success, I've shared with our readers time-honored methods for improving confidence and productivity. Now, as Manager of College and Professional Development, my focus is on lifting the advice from Idealist Careers "off the page". Drawing from my experience in career development, I propel job seekers and career changers towards taking control of their searches with confidence and removing fear, uncertainty, and other blocks to success via in-person workshops and seminars, webinars, and conference programming. My great loves are cooking (preferably without a recipe, otherwise I doctor it up), dancing, live cultural performances, identifying the tasting notes in a good cup of coffee, exploring neighborhoods for hidden gems, and anything else that sparks the senses and allows me to experience all the beauty, dynamism, and intrigue that vivaciously living in a remarkable world offers.

7 Comments

  1. We just interviewed a candidate for a position at our relatively large non-profit organization. She brought a resume to the interview which had different end dates than her original submission. The “new” resume closed the 2 year gap she had on her original submission. Not a good move as we (the interviewers) had her first submission. You can correct a typo or make a resume more readable, but don’t change the “facts”.

    • Duly noted! Thank you for your input. I have advised job seekers to include supplemental activities to their resumes that could help them close employment gaps- for example, pro bono projects, temp work, a personal creative project, or an ongoing volunteer position. However, not all job seekers have been engaging in these activities while out of work. If they do not have supplemental activities to add, I would never suggest that they fudge the dates of their work history.

      • Marianne Gellman on

        Hi Victoria – I give Martina a lot of credit! I’m a 30-year veteran fundraising generalist spending my golden years grinding out grants all day, every day, day in, day out. I realize that, at almost 70, I’m fortunate to have a job at all, but I’m determined not to end a diverse and productive career as a drone. My resume is getting a makeover as well; it’s 2 pages (not 6!), but it lists a lot of stuff that could better be summarized now. I’m a bit behind the curve on social media, and may have slowed down somewhat, but I can still run after a major donor! Continued success to ALL of us “senior executives” – we have a lot to contribute, and make dandy mentors to our junior colleagues.
        Regards,
        Marianne

        • Thank you for sharing your experiences, Marianne, and much luck as you revamp your resume! I appreciate your support to fellow “senior executives” and welcome others to share their experiences here as well. Building a system of support and camaraderie is so important. To your success, Victoria

  2. Courteney Douglas on

    Victoria, great advice about incorporating a cover letter when resending a resume. Another tip we give our job seekers is to create and use a “master resume,” which includes all experience. You can pull from that to incorporate the most relevant experiences for a particular position.

  3. Pingback: Ask Victoria: Resume Debacle! - Idealist Careers

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