Resumes are one of the most important tools in your job search. They are designed to get you into that recruiter’s office so you can sell yourself as the best candidate for the job. Advice on good resume writing is out there, all with different rules to apply. However, not everything that you read or will be told about resumes will be accurate. Here are some simple points that are often disputed that you need to follow when writing a resume. If you stick with this advice, you will find that your resume is well-accepted by employers.
- Your resume can be over one page. Do not let anyone tell you that your resume must be only one page in length. Research has shown that recruiters do say that they prefer one page resumes, but actually call in more candidates with two page resumes for an interview than those with only one page. Instead of scrunching up all the information on one page, allow it to be two pages. However, there is a rule of thumb. If the resume has less than three lines on the second page, make it a one page resume.
- Do not add a bunch of soft skills if you cannot back it up with examples and quantifiable tasks. In other words, statements like, “great leadership ability” is much more acceptable if tied with actual job tasks that you have performed in the past. For example, “Demonstrates leadership ability by leading a group of five employees in a process improvement process, exceeding deadline by one month”. The soft skill of leadership ability is there, but it is also backed by something you have accomplished. Both components are important when writing job statements.
- The objective statement on the resume should be replaced by qualification statements instead. The old way of resume writing would have you write an objective that would sound something like this: “To obtain a job with (X company) to better enhance the company’s reputation”. These are boring and mundane. Qualification statements are statements that should be linked with the job that you are applying for and should tell key characteristics about yourself. For example, some statements might include, “entrepreneurial spirit with 5 years of experience in X industry”, “excellent leadership abilities”, and “ability to strategically plan while paying attention to detail”. However, since these statements reflect soft skills, you should only have about three to four of them and you should be able to provide a specific example for each one in an interview.
- Do not state that “references are available upon request”. This is redundant. Employers know that you can and will provide this information if you are asked to come in for an interview. The statement takes up a precious line on the resume that can be used for something else. If you are called in for an interview, have three references typed on a sheet of paper that you can provide to the employer.
These four tips reflect the newest information on resumes. Some people may tell you any of these four tips are wrong. However, the old way of resume writing has been replaced with new. Follow these tips to help get your resume noticed.