Your resume is one of the most important parts of applying for any job. Here are some common questions about resumes, with our answers.
Do I need to have a resume?
Sorry, but yes. The days of being able to apply for some jobs without a resume are now past us. No matter how physical the potential job is, there has to be a resume. Seriously, you could be looking for a job digging post holes, and we’d still need to have a resume to send to the client who wants the job filled.
The resume’s pretty important, isn’t it?
Well, yeah. Now, don’t let this amp up your anxiety regarding your resume. Yes, it’s important, but since everyone has to have one now, you’re not alone.
I can kinda dress up some of the stuff on my resume, right? Just to make myself look like a better candidate?
Nooooo! Not only is it unethical, you’re likely to be found out. Most resumes these days are double-checked for accuracy, meaning schools and former employers are called. It’s much better to present yourself as someone who might not have a particular background or qualification, but is ready to learn, than as someone who doesn’t have a particular background or qualification and has no problem lying about it.
Should a resume should start with an objective or a summary?
Definitely the summary. While the objective is about what you want out of the job, the summary is about what you can bring to the job, and employers are much more interested in that.
How far back should my resume go?
Up to the past 10 years, in general. If you worked at your last employer for more than 10 years, it’s fine to put the job(s) you had before that one. However, since you were with that company for so long, be sure to show how your responsibilities and accomplishments grew over time.
I was taught to be super thorough in my resume, and to list every job duty I ever had. So it’s totally cool if my resume is 10 pages long, right?
While a novel-length resume might be standard in some fields or sectors, it’s a mark against you for most employers. A resume is like a promotional brochure for you: it highlights the really impressive stuff and provides basic information on how to “purchase” (hire) you. It gets you an interview; then, in the interview, you can talk about all the stuff you’ve done… if it’s pertinent to the job you’re applying for.