Resumes are your sell sheet into a potential job. Therefore, to put your best foot forward, you want to make sure to have a stellar resume.
Today we will cover some overall tips, but some more specific tips can be found at Creating a Strong Resume: The Basics , Your Resume: The Introductory Portion, Formatting Tips for Creating the Optimal Resume, and Creating a Resume that Optimally Highlights Your Talent. This last post in this series will cover some final tips to keep in mind as you create your resume.
If you are creating a resume, you never want to go past two pages. Anything more is too much and likely will be discarded by the reader. In addition, remember, you are trying to entice the potential employer to call you in for an interview. If you tell them everything they have no reason to call you in to meet you.
How Far Back Do You Go?
Generally, you only want to go back 10 years or two jobs if you were at your current job for 10+ years.
Why? First, anything older than ten years in most every industries is no longer relevant information to a potential employer. They want to know what you are doing now. And, they want to know what you are doing with the latest and greatest trends and industry tools.
Secondly, you don’t want to “age” yourself on your resume. If you put your entire work history on your resume an employer (wrongfully so in many countries) can calculate your age and perhaps determine they want someone younger for the position.
As a career coach, generally I suggest that people only list special interests that tie back to relevant job skills. For example, if you were the leader of a club you may want to provide details on that to showcase your leadership skills.
In contrast, the fact that you are a member of a bike riding club is not something you want to put on your resume. So, how do you know what is relevant and not for any “grey area” special interests? Always ask yourself, will this item make me a stronger candidate for the job? In this case, the answer is most likely no (unless the job is related to selling bikes, etc.)
Tied to this, make sure to leave off controversial volunteer and special interest work. For example, being a member of a gun club, a particular political affiliation, etc. You certainly can put that you did fundraising for a political party if it’s relevant to the type of work you are seeking. However, leave off the specific party to avoid creating a personal conflict with the interviewer in case they have different views.
Ready, Set, Go!
These final tips, on top of those shared earlier should leave you well prepared to create your own resume. And, it is a great task to take care of now that you have some extra time on your hands.
If you have any questions not covered, feel free to ask them in the comments. Or, if you have any extra tips or success stories you would like to share, I would love to hear them!
Check out Preparing for an Interview for more tips.