Highlighting your work experience and skills can be challenging. We’ve made it easier for you by covering some major don’ts for your resume.
When it comes to your resume, the information at the top is what’s going to catch the reader’s attention. Avoid including any fluff or filler material. It’s important to focus on what the person reading it will want to know—this should include your skills and qualifications that make you the right fit for the job.
While we’ve seen it be done—there is no need to include an objective at the top of your resume. The overall objective is to get the job you are applying for. An interviewer expects that if you are interested in the job, you have already read the job description and believe you are a suitable fit. Additionally, since several positions offer remote work options, including your physical address at the top should be a personal choice based on the job you are applying for, not a necessity.
Depending on your job history, you may have a resume that is a few pages long or find yourself increasing the font to size 16 just to fill one page. But, less is actually more here. An interviewer does not want to read a 3-page long resume from someone who should not have one.
Hiring managers are reviewing several resumes for any given role and most are skimming them over for important information. Make sure your content appeals to them and the right key words jump out! One page is usually sufficient in presenting your work experience. If you must cut down, include your most recent and relevant roles in date order to the job you’re applying for.
In terms of presentation, a resume should offer a simple aesthetic. Think clean lines and easy readability. Your resume does not need to be a work of art or feature a photo of yourself. Keep it simple and focus on what’s important for the person reading it to know.
If you did the work, own it! If it makes sense, eliminate words like ‘helped’ or ‘assisted’ when listing your job duties and accomplishments at each company. Team collaboration is expected at most organizations. Writing a resume is no time to be humble. Confidently list all your achievements and demonstrate the ways in which you directly contributed to your company’s success. If applicable, include measurable figures in dollars and percentages.
Certain life circumstances will force our jobs to end before we are prepared to exit them. For instance—layoffs, a company downsizing, or a sick family member who needs our care. These are just a few reasons why we must leave our jobs, and as a result, have unemployment periods in our work history. Sometimes it can even be intentional – like wanting to take a gap year to travel the world, go back to school, or volunteer abroad for an organization. While you might not want to list employment gaps on your resume—don’t avoid it. It is important to address them and provide a brief overview of what you did during that time. Employers want to see that you have been active instead of assuming the worst—you were idling your career.