If you have been a job seeker for any length of time and studied materials on how to create a powerful resume, you know by now that even the “experts” don’t agree on a number of things when it comes to your resume. These conflicting and confusing directions on how to construct your resume are crazy making at the least. At the most, a job seeker feels powerless and like with one wrong move they will mess up an opportunity of a life time.
While I’m not a certified resume writer, I have personally hired hundreds of people and recruited and screened hundreds more for other hiring managers. I’m here to help project some sanity into this often angst-filled activity, based on all that experience and my guidance to job seekers. I’m sure it will be in conflict with someone out there, but I’ll try to sort out the logic so you can make an informed decision.
Number of Pages. When creating a resume, this one ranks as the number one question job seekers have. Should you have 1 page, 2 pages or is it ever ok to have several pages? I think you have two goals in mind when writing your resume:
Resume Advice: When creating a resume, shoot for not more than 2 pages; just long enough to fully outline your results without being redundant. The only exception is if you are in an industry that wants length (you will know if this is you).
Objective Statement. Some expert’s say it’s a must in the resume, others say it’s a waste of time and space. This is definitely confusing.
Resume Advice: If you have the space without trading off some juicy skill or experience – add it. What you’re hearing is that the objective statement is optional; and it is. It isn’t vital, but it is a nice way to “set the tone” for how you want the resume reviewer to think about your resume. It should be 1 or 2 sentences as maximum and point to 2-3 of your skills.
Work Summary. Again, some include it and some say skip it. Many times the “skip it” crowd wants you to skip it because they want to see your experience in the setting of a specific job and years of service. In other words, it can and will get skipped by some.
Resume Advice: If you include a work summary, make sure it is a summary. I have seen full page summaries and it makes me think the writer doesn’t understand what the word ‘summary’ means. I think it is ok to include it, if it does these things:
Who do you listen to? Your cousin in HR? The person doing the resume tele-seminar or the person who wrote a book?
The Answer Is: Don’t ever substitute your judgment for that of others. It’s ok to gather opinions and input, but once you have done that you need to make decisions that best support your message. The fact that there is conflict should tell you that there is no “right way” to do the resume. This means if you think through what you’re doing, you resume will be right for you.
For more career tips and advice – FREE newsletter and eworkbook: http://CareerMakeoverToolKitShouldIstayorShouldIGo.com/ From Dorothy Tannahill-Moran – Your Career Change Agent from www.nextchapternewlife.com and www.mbahighway.com