Frances Brennan. Resume. September 05th , 2017.
A resume is not just a piece of paper that is meant to list the jobs you've held or the education you've acquired. It is your introduction to a prospective employer and represents the essence of your career, capabilities, and skill sets. When you are interested in a job you have one opportunity to gain the attention of a prospective employer and it is done when you submit your resume. Within a matter of minutes (or more likely seconds) someone will visually scan the resume and make a determination of your potential candidacy for an open position.
Include Irrelevant Info (AKA 'Fluff') - If it's not important, don't add it to your resume. If you were a cook 10 years ago but now you're looking for a job in retail management, don't clutter up your resume with irrelevancy. Try to put yourself in the shoes of the hiring manager and ask yourself what they would see as important. How does your background correspond with their needs as an employer? Anything else is fluff. Don't add your hobbies to your resume. Don't add your references (if they want them, they'll ask at the appropriate time). And don't include your high school education either. Finally, don't be redundant and repeat yourself throughout the context of your resume. It's OK to reinforce themes, but don't push it. If your title has been Branch Manager at each of your past three companies, find a way to differentiate each of these positions and highlight your most notable accomplishments. Don't just copy and paste the line 'Managed a team of branch employees' three times. That will get you nowhere.
What gives a resume impact, with regards to standing out among other resumes submitted? It is a resume that can be easily read, displays skill sets that are immediately identifiable as being related to the advertised position, and highlights important accomplishments and achievements. A chronological resume emphasizes what a person is doing now; whereas, a skill set resume represents what a person can transfer from their entire career to this new role. A resume with impact also lists a professional summary at the beginning, in place of a career objective, and this provides career highlights that are relevant to any position. Finally, a highly effective resume will be well-written and formatted, with meticulous attention given to every minor detail.
Another common misconception is that a resume must be one page in total length. I am not certain I know how that idea became popular or why it has remained so engrained as it ultimately serves little purpose for most candidates and it can work to the detriment of a job seeker. The reason why is that a one page resume, for a person who has fairly extensive experience, can sell them short. This type of resume will either leave off critical information or it will be typed in a font size that is not easy to read.
As previously noted, employers rarely request scannable resumes anymore. If they utilize an applicant tracking system, they will likely request that your resume be e-mailed, either as ASCII text or as an attachment. E-mail allows the recipient to enter your resume directly into the database, eliminating the extra steps of scanning and OCR.
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