Don't tailor your resume for each gig; Make sure your resume has a narrative instead

In my book I write about the "job application" method to get your 1099 gig. Basically this involves submitting a resume to various companies and job boards and then bringing up the 1099 option only when you get to the hiring manager or program manager.

Making sure your resume sets you up for success is a critical step as it will ensure you're getting enough interest from recruiters.

Below is an excerpt from this chapter from the book about your resume.


One of the most “conventional” pieces of advice for online applications is to tailor your application to the specific position opening.

I do not recommend this at all. It takes too much work to tailor your resume if you are simply submitting your resume via online job boards or applications.

What I do recommend is crafting a single resume around a narrative that makes sense for the type of position you are looking for.

If you just put down random jobs and professional history and every single non-relevant skill you have, the recruiter or program manager will be a bit confused and you likely won’t get contacted about the position.

However, if you have a cohesive resume that allows the recruiter to instantly make a decision about whether or not you are potentially a good fit, then you’re in good shape.

For example, on my resume, I wanted to convey that I am a hybrid consultant and analytics professional. My “professional summary” at the top of my resume read:

“An experienced data analyst specializing in customer collaboration to develop analytics-based solutions to critical business problems. Focused on answering “the question behind the question” through collecting, shaping, analyzing and  visualizing data to provide actionable recommendations and effective next steps to senior leadership.”

I knew that in the analytics world, customers/clients don’t always know what they want. Program managers could relate to that situation. In addition, I had the ability to actually execute on the customer needs which was attractive. If they hired me, I could be a one-stop shop for both requirements determination and execution.

The rest of my resume included highlights from projects that supported this statement. What was interesting was that I received phone calls from recruiters about both program management jobs and analytics jobs. My resume did not indicate a perfect fit for either but I’m guessing the fact that I had a resume with a narrative was enough for a recruiter to make a judgment.

You can choose whatever resume format you like but I recommend thinking about the type of position you want, and then coming up with a compelling narrative around that type of position.

If you are looking for an IT systems design type of role, choose one particular common problem within IT and frame your narrative around how you are uniquely positioned to solve it. If you specialize in systems integration, emphasize that. If you can successfully manage competing stakeholder needs and drive alignment, make that the headline.

As counter-intuitive as it seems, being specific about the type of work you are best at may lead to more opportunities, not less.


If you have questions feel free to reach out to me directly at I can also add you to my informal mailing list in case I have updates or news or whatever.


This article is an excerpt from Chapter 8 (Method 3: How to "Apply" for 1099 Jobs) of my book.

You can read more about it here:

Going 1099: How to become a solo federal sub-contractor and gain control of your working life, earn more money and unlock more free time

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published