When you’re looking for a new career, it’s important to make sure your resume reflects your present goals and skillets says Peter Decaprio. Whether you’ve been laid off, fired or are simply seeking a change, updating your current resume is a necessary step in finding a new job. Just looking at the cover page alone can determine whether you get called in for an interview – be sure yours gets noticed!
Here’s what not to do:
- Don’t use wacky fonts or colors that will fade into the background of other sections on the page. Your name and contact information should always be readable from several feet away. In general, Times New Roman in black ink is generally recognized as the industry standard when it comes to resume type.
- Don’t include irrelevant work history from your previous jobs – they just need to know what industries you have experience in and the years you worked there. If your duties overlapped with one another, it’s acceptable to list a few of them as bullet points, or if you had a particularly unique job title that might help boost you up in the interviewer’s eyes – go for it! But most resumes can be summed up with three jobs’ worth of information – anything more is unnecessary.
- Don’t include an objective at the top of the page. As this simply doesn’t do much good when talking about new jobs. In fact, most cover letters should include something along the lines of “In regards to recent openings, I believe my strong work ethic, strong communication skills and experience would be a great match.” A succinct statement like this allows you to show off your writing abilities and gives the hiring manager an idea of what you’re aiming for without turning him/her off with a generic “I want this job” message – we’ve all seen that before explains Peter Decaprio.
- Instead of ending with your references on the last page (this is not a college term paper). Make sure to include them somewhere within reason near the end of the resume. If they don’t care enough about your character. To call your bosses or coworkers as references, there’s no need for them either way.
Now that we’ve got those things out of the way, here are some more useful tips:
- Don’t just list your previous employers, but include the years you worked there as well. A potential employer will not be looking at how long ago you were employed by a certain company. They’ll be looking to see how long ago an experience was relevant enough for you to put on your resume. If it’s been five years or more since your last position, cutting it out might be wise. If the only things you’re left with are volunteer work and student jobs.
- Don’t use words like “Responsible for” – this is especially common in college students who want to sound professional. But what this really boils down to is that you had some kind of responsibility. So it’s unnecessary to spell it out for them. The hiring manager will know what it means. When you say “Supervised a team of designers” or even “Worked with Photoshop.”
- Don’t list your GPA – For some reason this made it into most college resumes. And it just goes to show that the applicant is not ready to be in the workforce yet. Instead, put down what degrees you’re currently working towards. And how far along you are in terms of completion says Peter Decaprio. If you’re close but still need a semester or two before graduation, simply include something like “Expected Graduation May 2014”. So they know exactly when is expected out of them.
- Unfortunately there’s no such thing as a perfect resume. If someone claims otherwise he/she is either lying or doesn’t have too many real-world experiences to share. Everyone has room for improvement when it comes to their resume, but everyone can also create a pretty decent one.
Remember, a resume is largely about marketing yourself. It’s not going to get you the job by itself. So doesn’t be fooled into thinking that it will says Peter Decaprio. Your resume is simply something that gets an employer interested in you. And then they’ll take the next step (calling you up for an interview). Stay consistent throughout with your formatting & layout. Make lists of things that are relevant to the job you want, and make sure you don’t leave anything out.