What’s the Difference between Resumes for Internal and External Opportunities?

Whats the difference between resumes for internal and external opportunities

Are you currently looking for a new job? Or maybe you’re aiming for a promotion in your current company? Either way, you need a resume.

The problem is that it can’t quite be the same resume. Different audiences require a different focus. To be prepared for every situation, you should have a “master resume,” ready to be altered at a moment’s notice, depending on the opportunities before you.

As a resume writer, it’s been my experience that most people need both an internal and an external resume. What do I mean by this? Well…

Resume for Internal Use

  • An internal resume is designed to apply for a different position within a company. As a current employee, you have “insider” information not available to external candidates. You should keep this knowledge in mind when you’re preparing your resume for your hiring manager. You should use the same strategy, whether it is for a promotion or a lateral move.
Job vs Career workbook

Resume for External Use

  • Confidentiality is vital. The last thing you want is to reveal confidential information in your resume about your current company, even if it shows you off in a good light.

    For example, imagine you took a lead role in an upcoming product launch. Tempting as it is, you don’t want to say anything publicly, such as the intended release date, which mistakenly gives information to a competitor.
  • You can also use jargon that’s understood both by employees and others in the industry. For example, when I was a recruiter, we would refer to a “fall-off,” which happened when someone leaves their new job before the end of their 90-day probation. All recruiters understand that term because they then must find another qualified candidate and refund a pro-rated amount of their commission.

    NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) has many specific acronyms for internal use.

    JSC                 Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
    KSC                 John F. Kennedy Space Center
    LETF                Launch Equipment Test Facility

Every resume should start with your writing strategy. Do you want to move into a bigger role with your current employer? Or do you want to start fresh with another company? Unless you have the right focus in your resume, you’re unlikely to land either job!

As a resume writer, that’s the sort of problem I help my clients manage. In other words, I help people get jobs! If you have found this information to be useful and want to discuss your own resume, schedule a free consultation now. I am looking forward to hearing from you!