How to Use a Networking Resume for Job Search Success

Posted by Ashley Jones

Your resume is one the most powerful tools in your cleared job search. It works as an advertisement that sells you to you prospective employers and urges them to contact you for an interview. In many cases, your resume serves as your initial introduction to recruiters and hiring mangers when you apply for a specific position. But what kind of resume do you bring to a networking event or a job fair with multiple employers? This is where your networking resume comes into play.

To maximize the success of your job search, you need more than one type of resume ready to go—including master, targeted, and networking versions. It’s wise to create a master resume that includes all of your past jobs, educational experiences, volunteer activities, any articles you’ve written, research you’ve done, awards you’ve received, etc. This master document will help you craft future resumes when in job search mode.

You’re likely familiar with targeting your resume to a specific employer, in which you include the relevant keywords noted in a job posting to entice the reader to follow-up. While it’s always best to target your resume when possible, sometimes you’ll use it when you’re not applying for a specific job. You may want to share your resume with individuals in your network to help you find leads, and when you’re networking or attending a job fair.

Consider these tips to help you create and use your networking resume successfully:

When to Use a Networking Resume

Your networking resume should be used as an additional job search resource, not as a replacement for your full or targeted resume. It should be used at networking events and career fairs—anytime you’re not applying to a specific job at XYZ company. It captures your career in a single page or two and demonstrates who you are, what you want to do, and your value. It’s an important tool in your marketing portfolio and serves as the perfect document to take along when networking.

Your networking resume is especially important when attending job fairs. If you meet with 10 or 20 employers, it’s not feasible to craft a targeted resume to each organization or job opportunity. You need a resume that focuses on the type of job you are pursuing, while outlining your primary accomplishments. Every word must have a purpose and focus on your best-selling features. Your networking resume combined with your interaction at a job fair, should make that person want to follow-up with you further. At that point, you can regroup and send a targeted resume for the specific job opening at hand.

How It’s Different from Other Resumes

A networking resume works best when it’s boiled down to one or two pages. It should be brief, yet heavy on accomplishments. Each additional page you include in this document reduces the odds that it will be read to the end. So keep it succinct and zero in on the high points of your successes. This will be easier to do once you’ve created your master resume to pull your best-selling bullet points from.

At the top of your resume just below your contact information, add a headline that clearly states what you want to do. It could say, “Experienced Federal Business Developer” or “Senior Systems Engineer.” This headline makes it easier for people to immediately remember the jobs you’re interested in and qualified for.

Checklist for Creating Your Networking Resume

As you put your networking resume together, be sure to include your contact information and your best accomplishment statements. No need to feel overwhelmed putting together yet another resume—it’s very similar to others you’ve likely created. Make sure you have the following items:

  1. Your name.
  2. City and state—street address isn’t necessary.
  3. One contact email and phone number.
  4. A headline that demonstrates the type of work you’re interested in.
  5. Accomplishment statements that note the situation, task, action, and your end result. Read these insights to build your accomplishment statements.
  6. Education.

When you attend a job fair solely with cleared facilities employers, be sure to add your security clearance, to ensure you don’t miss out on any prospective cleared opportunities. It’s also beneficial to have a second copy without your clearance listed, to share with individuals at non-cleared events. Simply save two versions and use accordingly.

Maximizing Job Search Success

Before writing any resume (with the exception of your master resume), you must decide what type of work you’re seeking. You can’t write a focused resume without determining your career goals ahead of time. Write about your past successes in the terms that are relevant to the job you want. If your resume is too vague or scatter brained, it won’t see the light of day—it will disappear into the black hole and leave you jobless.

So whether you’re working on your networking resume or targeting your resume to a specific employer, make your intentions clear. Include information that supports the job you want and use important keywords that are relevant to your field. And remember, your resumes should not resemble a job description, but outline the specific accomplishments and successes that you bring to the table instead.


  • Ashley Jones

    Ashley Jones is ClearedJobs.Net's blog Editor and a cleared job search expert, dedicated to helping security-cleared job seekers and employers navigate job search and recruitment challenges. With in-depth experience assisting cleared job seekers and transitioning military personnel at in-person and virtual Cleared Job Fairs and military base hiring events, Ashley has a deep understanding of the unique needs of the cleared community. She is also the Editor of ClearedJobs.Net's job search podcast, Security Cleared Jobs: Who's Hiring & How.

This entry was posted on Thursday, September 12, 2019 5:08 pm

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