5 Resume Dos and Don’ts for Job Success

resume tips

Whether you are looking for a new job or updating your resume “just in case,” you want to have a resume that best reflects your strengths.

To do this, your resume will need to be only attractive and easy-to-read, but well-written. It should also have the pertinent information of interest to the employer – but not necessarily too much.

5 Resume Tips to Get That Job Interview

Hiring managers look at a lot of resumes in the process of searching for a new employee. You need to make their job as easy as possible.

Here are some tips for sending in a resume that will show off your strengths instead of highlighting weaknesses.

1. Your Resume Should Be Two Pages or Less

Unless you are in academia, keep your resume to two pages or less. No hiring manager wants to read a book about your life.

A long resume can actually hurt your chances more than one that is too short. First, it might get immediately thrown out because of the length. Second, a long resume says to the hiring manager: “I don’t know how to be succinct and to the point.” It says: “I don’t respect your time.” It might also indicate a big ego.

2. References Do Not Need to Be Included on a Resume

You should not include your references on your resume, unless a job listing absolutely requires it. You also do not need to say, “references available upon request” on your resume.

In online applications, references are often requested separately in the application form. Otherwise, references can be provided after the first interview.

3. Steer Clear of Religion and Politics

Unless you are specifically applying to a political or religious job, keep your personal opinions close to your chest. Even though discrimination based on religion is illegal in the United States, you do not want to give your potential employer an unconscious bias against you.

4. Don’t Include Job History Prior to 15 Years Ago

The sad truth is that we live in an age where youth is prized above experience. Putting down work history that goes past 15 years ages you. In most cases, including work history only from the past 10 years will be enough. Executive-level jobs are generally the only ones that need a long work history.

5. You Don’t Need to Include Everything You Did

This goes along with having a shorter resume. Some employees get hung up on describing exactly what they did at their job, to the minute detail. Not only is this unnecessary, it is counterproductive. It’s boring, first of all, and it clutters up the resume to make it difficult to scan quickly.

Furthermore, your employer does not care that you went to meetings every week. Everybody goes to meetings. Some of what you have done can be assumed by your job title.

Focus on measurable accomplishments, not mundane, everyday tasks in your resume. Remember: Less is more.

Step Back and Get a Second Opinion on Your Resume

It’s usually a good idea to have a second pair of eyes look at your resume. Don’t be too attached to what you’ve written. Be open to hearing advice and make efforts to improve your resume based on feedback. By doing that, and following the tips above, you should have a much better chance of that resume landing an interview.

Author: Jon Stahl

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