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I am applying to two graduate programs in the same University (Electrical Engineering and Financial Engineering).

One of the required documents is the latest resume.

In the past, when I applied for jobs, I would tailor my resume to fit the job description and skills they require, and include only relevant accomplishments.

Now that I am applying to two different programs in the same University, should I

  1. Write two separate resumes to tailor to each program, i.e. one for Electrical, one for Finance
  2. Write identical resumes, because two resumes may be compared.

And the application is 100% online, if that is relevant.

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I don't think the resumes will be compared. Because all the applications along with its documents always go directly to the respective departments. Moreover, in any case the materials of your CV will never vary greatly. So you can make two different resumes for two different programs as they fit to the program.

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    Good, because as I'm starting to write the Statement of Purpose, I cannot help but write two separate essays! – Rhonda Sep 19 '15 at 16:44
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Write different resumes.

They will probably both end up in your file with the larger university, but that does not mean they will be compared -- each department will only see the resume you sent to it, and the larger university doesn't care.

Even if someone were to look at both, as long as there are no obvious factual discrepancies (e.g. one resume says you were working at BigEngineeringCo in 2012 and the other says you were working at BigFinanceCo in 2012), the normal process of shifting emphasis to present yourself favorably given the context won't bother anyone anyway.

When I read applications to the grad program I teach for, I absolutely look for relevant, apropos experience on applicants' resumes, so removing any of that for the sake of a single resume would damage your application in my eyes.

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