In today’s job market, a lot of resumes are flying around. They range from resumes created by individuals, to those who have paid big money to have a company prepare their resume. Given the volume and some of the amazing things we see on resumes, I thought offering a few tips on resume preparation to you might be helpful.
1) Never put your picture on a resume. I am not sure who thought this idea up, but we see it more and more. It is a very bad idea. Any HR Manager concerned about being charged with discrimination will shred your resume if your picture is on it. Your resume should not include information such as age, sex, race or religion.
2) One page is plenty. Imagine you are the HR Manager tasked with reviewing 100 resumes received for one position. Would you read a multi page resume? The purpose of the resume is to get an interview. If you feel compelled to tell your entire life’s history, make two resumes; one short and concise that you can send out and the long version to hand over in an interview.
3) Avoid the hype. Often resumes tell more about what the person wants to be as opposed to what they are. Tell the truth on your resume. Also, consider the content of your resume for the position you are applying for. If you are sending a resume for a sales position, pontificating on your sales management experience will not be helpful. Spend a little time fine tuning your resume to describe your skills for the position you are applying for.
4) Lastly, avoid scented paper or pretty colors. I have received resumes coated with perfume that reeked so badly I had to take them outside to dispose of them. Your experience and education are the qualifications that will get you the interview.
5) Special Notes to first time job seekers. If you are looking for your first job, you might think the experience portion of your resume might be thin. It may help to consider your experiences in life to date. If you have never missed a day of school and have perfect attendance mention that. If you are making straight A’s or in college placement classes talk about that. Attending school every day and being there on time is a great demonstration of your ability to be where you are supposed to be and be there on time. If you are making straight A’s it demonstrates that you are willing to put the work in to get the job done. Smart employers will take note of those things.
6) Lastly, attitude is everything. Most employers I talk with agree an employee with a great attitude is the one they want. An employee with a bad attitude and all the right experience still has a bad attitude.