As any job seeker can attest, a lot goes into a successful job search. You must have a good resume and cover letter, ace interview questions, impress hiring managers, and finally negotiate fair terms. All of these are doable with the right approach and training. Everything, however, is dependent on your resume instilling confidence in employers to consider you for the position. When you respond to a job posting, your resume and cover letter are the first things that land on an employer’s desk (or screen). If the resume does not pique their interest, they are unlikely to open the cover letter. In essence, your resume is the most important aspect of your job search. With so much riding on a resume, it is critical that we take the time to properly construct it. If you want the perfect resume, follow these resume dos and don’ts.
Creating the ideal resume is critical for landing your dream job. However, there is a lot more to it than that. This is especially true when it comes to career changes.
Keep Your Resume Short and Sweet
It is all about quality rather than quantity. One of the most common resume mistakes is a lack of length. When it comes to writing a resume, the phrase “short and sweet” applies perfectly. The goal here is not to provide a detailed life story, but rather to provide a concise and to-the-point account of a relevant experience. They can learn more about you through your cover letter or interview. A resume should be no more than one or two pages long. You want hiring managers to be able to quickly skim through your resume and get a good sense of your experience. While you don’t want your resume to be too long, remember to include the following when writing it:
- Getting in Touch
- Section Summary
- Professional background (job titles and length)
- Certifications and education
- Qualifications and achievements
Feel free to experiment with the information you want to include, as well as the order of the list from one application to the next. Just keep in mind that it should be simple for hiring managers to understand. This means that a professional resume must priorities more critical information before moving on to less critical details.
Adapt to the Job Description
It is critical to have a good template to fall back on. Sending your resume, on the other hand, should not be a simple matter of copy-pasting. Resumes should be tailored to the position for which you are applying. Highlight your accomplishments, skills, and experiences that are relevant to the role. When possible, include keywords that are relevant to roles.
Obtain the Appropriate Formatting
While actions such as tailoring your resume to the job description and emphasizing skills and experiences are important, paying attention to resume format is equally important. Consider the following:
Font and Size – Avoid using fonts, sizes, and text effects that make it difficult to read the text.
Page Margins – You don’t want too much white space on your resume. This will reduce the amount of space available for you to sell yourself.
Consider the standard 1′′ margins on the top, bottom, left, and right sides of the page.
If possible, include data.
Quantifying accomplishments with numbers and percentages is a great way to demonstrate how much of a difference you helped to bring about. Remember not to go into lengthy data explanations. Simple bullet points with a brief note will suffice.
Resume Label Resume Dos and Don’ts – Resume
It is not necessary to label your resume. Hiring managers should be able to figure it out just by skimming it.
The resume should be dated.
Some people, probably out of habit, include a date on their resume. This is entirely unnecessary. Employers do not need to know when you put together your resume.
Avoid Sending Photographs – United States
While this may not apply to foreign companies or certain jobs, such as acting or modelling, it is important to keep in mind. Unlike many other countries, the United States does not require a photograph. Most of them would prefer that you not include a photograph in order to comply with Equal Employment Opportunity legislation (prohibits companies from hiring for discriminatory reasons).
Don’t Lie About Yourself
Honesty is the best policy when it comes to resumes. Misrepresenting yourself on a resume may get you a job interview, but chances are you’ll be caught lying then or later. In most companies, this is grounds for dismissal.
Don’t Include Your High School
You should only list your high school education if it is your highest level of education. Remove your high school diploma from your resumes once you have completed a higher level of education.
Include No Unrelated Skills
Make sure that the skills and attributes you list on your resume are current and relevant to the position. Adding unrelated skills will do little to help you stand out from the crowd, and it can be a red flag for recruiters.
Don’t Justify Your Reason for Leaving Your Job
While you may be asked why you left one of your previous jobs during an interview, you should never mention it on your resume. The resume should only provide a summary of previous work experiences and roles. There’s no need to include any additional paragraphs explaining why you left or anything else.
Avoid using phrases like – References Available Upon Request.
The phrase “references available upon request” has become so common in resumes that it is now taken for granted. Employers now naturally assume that if a reference is requested, you will be able to provide one. There’s no reason to include it on your resume. However, make sure to adhere to the specific job posting; some may request names ahead of time.
There is a lot that goes into creating an effective resume. If you follow these tips, you will be one step closer to being called in for that interview. Consider our career services if you need help putting together a resume or practicing for an interview. We help students connect with potential employers, as well as provide them with proper training and career search assistance, through our Career Services.