We all had the resume when we first entered college that had our high school graduation on there. It’s hard to know what to put on a resume when you don’t have much job experience. The resume can look boring and like its not enough. News flash, no one wants to read a three page single-spaced resume that talk about every job you’ve ever had since you were sixteen years old. There is a balance between having enough and having too much. I read resumes all the time and trust me when I say I only want to see what is relevant to the job you are applying for. My favorite resumes to look at are the ones that are concise and highlight the most important parts of your career. Here are some resume tips from someone who reads a lot of resumes, often.
- Make it job specific. If you are applying for a job to design spaceships, no one is going to care that you held a job 7 years ago folding clothes at Hollister while you were still in high school. It is irrelevant. So make sure that the schooling and job information that you include on your resume is current and relevant. I see job history on resumes for older people that goes back to the 1990’s. I’m not really concerned with what you did 25 years ago. I care about what you did three years ago that could help show me that you can hold a job for more than a month or that you know how to use Excel really well.
- Leave it at one page. One page should be enough to tell all of the important reasons why you are right for the job. Education, Experience, Accomplishments/Skills. Those are the only sections that you need. If the job you are applying for is skill specific then I would list skills that you have that directly apply to the job. And when listing skills, refer to tip #1. One page is concise, highlights the main points, and doesn’t make the person reading it fall asleep trying to find the good stuff.
- Include Accomplishments. Say you won employee of the year or most well liked manager. Well this is something that makes you look good. You’re easy to work with, people like you. That’s almost as important as the skills you possess. So make sure that you include an awards or accomplishments that you have and brag about yourself a little bit. It’s not bad it just shows that you’re a great manager, not just an average manager. The accomplishments section could also include involvement in the community or professional societies. People love community involvement, so don’t forget to include that.
Don’t be fluffy. List the facts and that’s it. Most people that read resumes just do a quick scan and if they don’t find something that they like or something that stands out then they move onto the next one. Highlight your best experience and skills and for the love of god, if you graduated from college, please do not mention what high school you went to and what your GPA was. Nobody but the college admissions people care about that.
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