The Nine Most Common Questions About Writing a Resume

2017-09-25 by Rebecca

Resume Tips You Absolutely Need to Know

A great resume does more than just speak to your experience and qualifications. It also makes a compelling case for why you’re the best candidate for a given job. If you’re worried about your resume, know that there’s no reason to fear. Here are answers to nine of the most common questions we hear. With these resume tips, you can turn a boring old piece of paper into a compelling resume.

Q: Do I need a resume that’s specific to my industry?

A: In general, no. Almost all industries demand the same type of resume format. Keep in mind that you should include as much information as possible that’s specific to your industry. If you’ve switched professions, for example, focus on listing the work experience that most corresponds to the job for which you’re applying. You can also incorporate industry specifics into your branding statement.

Q: Is it true that my resume should only be a page long?

A: You might have heard that your resume should only be one page long. That’s because recruiters read a lot of resumes and don’t have time to sift through a long document. However, you can go up to two pages if it’s really necessary. If you have a wealth of relevant job experience or important qualifications, you should list them even if the information spills onto a second page.

Q: Should I write an objective or a branding statement?

A: In the past, jobseekers wrote an “Objective” section on their resumes. This has largely been replaced by a branding statement where you briefly summarize your strongest qualities. Think of it as your career advertising tagline. You can include this under the “Profile” section of your resume, which should come right after the header with your name and contact information.

Q: How should I handle brief periods at a job or gaps in my work history?

A: Almost everyone in today’s job scene has started a job only to leave it shortly thereafter. The best way to handle brief work stints is to list only the years of employment on your resume instead of months of employment. If you have gaps in your work history, don’t attempt to conceal them. Instead, address them proactively in your cover letter and interviews.

Q: Should I list my work achievements on my resume?

A: Yes. Instead of making a boring bullet list of job duties, write statements about what essential support you provided at each place of work. These statements should hit on job duties but are aimed at showing how you add value to a workplace.

Q: What type of education information should I include?

A: If you have at least a bachelor’s degree, there’s no need to include information about your high school education on your resume. Recruiters will assume you graduated from high school. If you hold any special certifications from a college or vocational school, be sure to list them under your education section as well.

Q: How creative can I get with my resume?

A: Resumes can seem boring, and you might be tempted to choose a fancy font or brightly colored paper. In general, you should avoid doing this. Recruiters aren’t tricked by visual gimmicks. They can also cause formatting problems if you’re sending a resume electronically. The exception to this rule is in the art and design field, where showing off your creativity might be directly related to landing a job.

Q: What’s the biggest mistake that people make when writing a resume?

A: No doubt the biggest mistake that people make on a resume is failing to proofread carefully. There should be no spelling, grammar or formatting mistakes on your resume. Run it through spell check, and be sure to have another person look it over too. Turning in a sharp, well-written resume proves to employers that you’re diligent and have good communications savvy.

Q: Should I include any personal information?

A: From time to time, recruiters receive resumes that include personal information such as gender, height, weight, race and religion. This information is not necessary and tends to make potential employers very uncomfortable. The only personal information you should disclose on your resume is

  • your name,
  • your previous employers,
  • all the schools you’ve attended,
  • work experience outside the country and
  • any languages you speak that might be applicable to the job.

You don’t have to disclose the names of organizations you volunteer with or belong to if they reveal your cultural background, religion or other confidential information.


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