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Master Resume

Posted on July 27, 2016
Image of a scroll-looking resume

For years I have advised students to use what I call a master resume. What do you include on the master resume? Everything! It does not need to be formatted in a certain way or look pretty, but every job and every responsibility should be included.


Hiring managers expect resumes to speak directly to the position they are trying to fill. According to, there are an average of 250 resumes submitted for each corporate job. While it is easy to cull out unqualified individuals, resumes with typos, cover letters that are speak more about what the company can do for the applicant, etc., it still leaves a large number to analyze. Therefore, the resumes that have been tweaked to match the job description, are the resumes that rise to the top of the pile. Customizing your resume demonstrates:

  • A strong interest in the position
  • Attention to detail
  • Your thought process regarding how your skills fit with the position and the company

If you have had more than five positions, creating your master resume will likely take a little time. Begin with your first position out of college. This is where it gets tough remembering everything you did. Start with what you remember and then move to the next position. As you continue to build your master resume, you will remember forgotten responsibilities or accomplishments. I recommend one bullet point for each accomplishment, task, or responsibility. But use appropriate resume language, i.e. action words, proper tense, etc.

When you are ready to apply for a new position, compare the potential job description to your master resume. Note which positions are applicable and which skills and accomplishments are relevant. You can then paste that information into your formatted resume and tweak it as necessary.

Using the master resume will allow you to tailor your accomplishments to the needs and wants of the potential employer. Your resume will stand out and you will be much more likely to be one of the 2% invited for an interview.

Get started today, don't wait until you have a potential position in mind.


Anne Converse Willkomm
Director, Graduate Studies
Goodwin College, Drexel University


Posted in professional-development-career-tips