For those who have been in the work force for many years, you probably can remember a time when your resume was the defining document for you as a job candidate. There was plenty of debate over what information you should emphasize (college GPA or no), how much detail to provide (does anyone really care you were an Eagle Scout?), how long the resume should be (one page vs. as many as you need to tell your story). The question remains: is your resume still relevant today?
Is Your Resume Still Relevant Today?
Where does the resume stand in today’s recruitment world where many employers only accept online applications and often require job seekers to use a form unique to their organization? Perspectives on the need to have a resume vary, but the overriding sentiment seems to be that it is always good to have one current and handy. While it might not be necessary to have a resume for every job search, most employment experts agree there is no good reason not to have this tool in your job search toolbox.
Having established that a resume can be a vital aid in your employment process, let’s now take a look at what the document should look like and the information it should include to make sure it’s still relevant today. A good rule of thumb is to think of the piece as a sales pitch: a summary of who you are, where you’ve been, what you’ve done, where you’d like to be and what you have to offer. That’s a lot of data to pack into one synopsis, so here are some tips for creating an effective job bio.
What to Consider for Your Resume
Employers are busy people and face information overload on a daily basis, so it’s wise to limit your resume to two pages. In addition, keep the wording simple, concise and straightforward.
The look you choose for your resume might vary depending on the type of job for which you are looking. For example, if you are seeking work as a graphic artist, you likely would want your resume to be an example of your creativity. But that’s probably not the case if you are looking for a banking position. Regardless of the job and industry, some basic rules apply across the board:
- Choose an easy-to-read, standard-sized font
- Offset key information with headings
- Use bullets to break up lengthy text
- Keep graphics, photos and flourishes to a minimum, if you use them at all
There are several categories of information that are musts for creating an effective resume: your contact information, resume profile or summary, experience, education and skills, with skills outranking experience as the most important selling point in some employers’ eyes. It’s important to tailor your resume to the job for which you are applying, highlighting the most applicable and pertinent points, while steering clear of unnecessary or unrelated details.
A professional recruiter can help you build or update your resume for optimum results. Resume templates and tips can also be found online. In the end, the piece that introduces you to a potential employer should provide a brief, easy-to-read, understandable snapshot of your education, experience, accomplishments and job goals. Most importantly, it should reflect what you bring to the table as a prospective employee.