How Many References Should You Have
Most job seekers should have between three and four references on their reference page.
However, if youre applying for a position that requires extensive vetting like a senior-level role, you should include between five and seven professional references.
But remember that all of your references should be high quality. Each reference should be able to meaningfully attest to your professional strengths and character. Dont include more references just to hit a higher number.
What Not To Include
- Roles you undertook more than 20 years ago: This is simply not relevant, so omit any outdated information, Hallam says.
- The words Curriculum Vitae: now resume is more current, Hallam explains.
Rememberif you want your resume to stand out, focus on getting the content right, rather than dressing it up with fancy fonts or graphics. A clean and functional resume will be a much better tool to get you noticed by potential employers.
Handling Gaps Sired Fired Retired
Handling gaps in employment history is distressing for any professional. Im being a bit flippant in describing this as sired, fired, or retired, but those are the most common gap causes.
Sired: You or your spouse gave birth and you decided to stay at home for some number of years. That time period is up and youre looking to get back into the workplace.
Fired: You picked the wrong job, wrong boss, or wrong industry, and you ended up being shown the door. Landing the next role has not happened as quickly as you wouldve liked and you have a gap longer than 12 months to explain.
Retired: You decided to downshift and seek out the finer things in life, you took a gap year, or simply traveled for a year or two because circumstances afforded you the opportunity. But now its time to get back to having a work family, or a paycheck, or a career.
In each of these cases, its always better if youve had a plausible institutional connection during the gap period. Non-profit work is the obvious best and easiest one. Consulting roles, even at your own firm, count. Paid work done on a project basis for friends or former colleagues can also fit the bill. Any of these is better than a final date on your most recent employment that is twelve or more months in the past.
Ideally, you summarize it in one optimistic, forward-looking, positive line of text:
- Stay-at-home parent, for a family of four, energized to return to work. 2011- 2020
Or to cover a time of travel:
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How Many Years Of Experience To List On Your Resume
Do you have to include every job you’ve ever had on your resume? Not necessarily. When you have extensive experience, you don’t need to list your entire work history.
Your resume is a synopsis of your qualifications and experience that shows what you have accomplished that is relevant to the job. You don’t need to include everything you’ve ever done on your resume, especially if you’ve been in the workforce for many years or have shifted careers.
In fact, you may want to have several versions of your resume. One with all your experience so you can keep track of it, a targeted resume that you can customize for each job you apply to, and a shorter version for career networking and job fairs.
Which Resume Categories Do I Include
Organizing your resume is just as important as formatting it. Many resumes are put together by job seekers who arent sure of how to organize their information, resulting in a resume that lacks focus.
You always want to make sure that your categories are well defined and organized appropriately for not only who you are, but the type of resume that youre using .
Here are the categories that you need to include on your resume:
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Pay Attention To Technical Details
When editing your resume, make sure there are no punctuation, grammatical, spelling, or other errors that will make your resume look unprofessional. Then, have a friend or family member read it again to catch any mistakes you might have missed you can’t afford a typo or missing word as a candidate with no prior work experience. Also, be sure to vary your language and utilize action verbs throughout your resume to keep your reader engaged.
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When To Use A Combination Resume
A combination resume may be best for you if you’re making a slight career transition or if you have a diverse employment history where relevancy to the role youre applying for may not be immediately clear. For example, you might use a combination resume if youre applying for a people manager position and you have extensive experience managing teams but youve never officially had a manager job title. This format can help showcase your leadership accomplishments and transferable leadership skills.
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Add Your Remote Work Skills
Remote working skills became at once desirable in March of 2020, when COVID forced offices nationwide to close. Now that many employers are embracing remote work, its a good idea to include any work-from-home skills on your resume. Look closely at the job description to see if the company mentions any remote work collaboration tools like , Asana, Trello, etc. Include these keywords on your resume where applicable.
Three Pages Or Longer
While three pages may seem like youre entering novella territory, this resume length can work for professionals who need the extra space.
Before going to multiple pages, take inventory of why you need the longer format. Ask yourself if your resume is built on quality versus quantity. Have you let go of early career experiences that don’t market you for your current goal?
A resume should not be an obituary of ones career, says Dagliano. To keep it concise, write with the employers needs and wants in mind. Hint: Review the job description to which youre applying and note what skills and qualifications the employer lists at the top.
Consider a three-page resume if:
- You’re a senior-level manager or executive with an impressive track record of leadership accomplishments.
- Youre in an academic or scientific field with a list of publications, speaking engagements, courses, licenses, or patents.
- Youre applying for a federal job that requires more information than a civilian application.
- You have a lengthy technical or project management background and need to provide case studies, project highlights, or lists of technical skills.
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Decide On A Resume Format
There are a few dominant resume templates in use today: chronological, functional, and hybrid, which is a combination of the two. A chronological resume format lists a candidate’s work experience in reverse-chronological order. A functional resume format focuses on highlighting the candidate’s skills and achievements, rather than work experience. While the functional resume format can be an attractive option for job seekers with little experience, most employers prefer a chronological or hybrid resume format. Whatever resume format you decide to use, be sure that your format remains consistent throughout the job resume.
How Often Should I Update My Cv
Even if you arent actively looking for a new role, its important to get into the habit of regularly updating your CV. So, for example, if youve learnt a new skill or successfully completed a big project in your current role, update your resume to reflect that. Its also a good idea to update your LinkedIn profile at the same time.
If you keep your resume up-to-date, when you do come to the point when you want to find a new position, theres no risk that youll forget key points.
Regularly updating your resume can also make you more aware of any skills or experience gaps that you need to fill to take the next step in your career.
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How To Match Your Resume Skills To The Job Description
Many companies use an applicant tracking system , which acts as an electronic filter, to collect, scan, sort and rank resumes to narrow applicant pools to the most qualified candidates. Thats why you need to customize your resume and cover letter using keywords and phrases that match the job listing .
If an employer is looking for a graphic designer with mastery in Adobe Creative Suite, for example, you wouldnt just claim experience with software for creative professionals. List the software by name, give your expertise level, and if you have it highlight your Adobe Certified Expert certification. Likewise, if an employer is searching for an accountant with experience processing daily invoices and credit, then use similar language in your resume. Simply listing gathering receipts as a duty wont likely score well with an ATS.
Repeat common words and phrases from other postings of the same role, too. But remember, every job description is different. Tailor the keywords and skills on your resume and in your cover letter for each position.
Customize Your Resume For Each Job You Apply To
The last and most important thing to remember when creating a good resume is to customize it for every job to which you apply. Different job postings are going to have different keywords, different job duties listed, and so on. Appealing to each individual employer’s needs and job requirements is the best strategy for getting your application noticed and hopefully landing your first job.
At the end of the day, there’s no magical formula for how to write a winning resume the only perfect resume is the one that gets you the job. Be prepared to tweak and update your resume, even when you’re comfortably employed. Utilize a hybrid resume format and focus on your skills and education when you don’t have any work experience to show. Sooner or later, you’ll land that job and gain that much-coveted experience.
Tackling this kind of resume isn’t easy. If you’ve recently graduated or are in an entry-level job search, a professional resume writer can prepare you for success. Learn more.
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How To List Skills In Your Resume
When mentioning skills in your resume, there are 3 essential steps to follow:
Step #1 – List Hard Skills with Experience Levels. For each hard skill you list, you want to mention your proficiency level:
As a rule of thumb, you can divide them by:
Beginner – You have some experience with the skill, whether its from some entry-level practice or classroom education.
Intermediate – Youve used the skill in a work environment with a good level of understanding.
Advanced – Youre the go-to person for the skill in your office. You can coach other employees, and understand the skill on a high level.
Expert – Youve applied this skill in more than a handful of different projects & organizations. Youre the go-to person for advice about the skill, not just in your office, but even amongst some of the best professionals in your field.
Make sure to NEVER lie about your skill levels. Otherwise, its going to be pretty awkward both for you and your employer.
Imagine your first task at work as an Illustrator – to create a graphic vector to go nicely with an article. If you end up delivering a hastily drawn stick figure colored with a paint bucket tool in Microsoft Paint, youll be out of the job before your probation period ends.
Step #2 – Tailor Your Skills to the Job. You might have some super rare, awesome skills, but theyre not always going to be useful. For example, its awesome that you know accounting, but would you really need it at your new job as a line cook? Exactly!
Replace Your Objective Statement With A Resume Summary
Many older resume templates prompt you to write an objective at the top of your resume. This was once a common practice, and if your resume is more than five years old, chances are good that you still have an objective statement lingering about. Try replacing it with an impactful summary statement. This is a brief overview of your top skills and experience that can quickly communicate to a recruiter who you are as an employee.
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Top Soft Skills For Your Resume
There are tons of soft skills that you can include in your resume, but how do you know which ones to include? Here is a quick list of important soft skills you should list on your resume.
Problem Solving Skills
No matter what the job is, eventually something will go wrong and employers want to know that youre capable of coming up with a quick and effective solution. In fact, there are jobs that are essentially nothing but solving problems for the company, the clients, or both.
Critical Thinking Skills
Being able to think rationally and thoughtfully is the basis of critical thinking. Employers want workers who can think through a problem or a project and determine the best steps needed. Critical thinkers come up with new and better ways to work, making it an invaluable skill to put on a resume.
Many organizations and industries covet employees who are dynamic and adaptable to every situation, or who have a natural ability to use a variety of methods and approaches in different circumstances to get the best end result.
Whether its written or verbal, being able to communicate with your boss, coworkers, and clients/customers in all situations is very valuable. The better you are at it, the better results you will generate.
Most jobs will sometimes require you to work with other people at some point, and employers want to know that you can succeed in a team environment. Some jobs will prize this skill more than others.
Make Your Experience Section Easy To Skim
One of the most challenging parts of writing your resume is balancing the amount of information that needs to be included with making it easy to skim. As we mentioned above, recruiters allot a matter of seconds to each resume. Because of that, you dont want to include large blocks of text or too many bullet points. Condense everything as much as you can and use an appropriate number of bullets to convey that you are the right fit for the job.
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Importance Of A Good Cv
Think of your CV as your own living, breathing personal pitch a pitch that succinctly answers all the questions a recruiter or hiring manager has about you. The degree to which you present the reader with the information they require to make an informed decision can determine whether you are invited to interview.
This includes why you are applying for this job, with this organisation and in this industry, what value you can bring to the organisation and whether you have what is required to be successful in the role.
To leave the reader with no doubt about your suitability, you must present a strong CV that clearly conveys this information.
To do this, below youll find our tips on how to write a resume. Alternatively, you can download our resume template.
Take Stock Of Your Achievements And Activities
Make a list of absolutely everything you’ve done that might be useful on a resume. From this list, you’ll then need to narrow down what to actually include on your resume. Different things might be relevant to different jobs you apply for, so keep a full list and pick the most relevant things from it to include on your resume when you send it out.
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How To Write A Convincing Cover Letter
Every job application consists of 2 parts the resume and the cover letter. Now that weve covered the first, lets briefly explain the latter.
Most job-seekers flinch when they hear that they have to write a cover letter. What do you even mention in a cover letter, anyway? If you were good at writing cover letters, youd be applying for a writing job!
In reality, though, writing a cover letter is pretty simple, if you know its purpose.
You should think of a cover letter as a direct message to the hiring manager. You get to briefly explain why youre such an awesome fit for the position. When we put it that way, it doesnt sound as hard, does it?
Heres a format you could follow:
- Introduce yourself As a start, give a brief run-down on your work experience and mention why youre interested in working for the company youre applying for. You can also mention 1-2 of your top professional achievements to leave a good first impression.
- Explain how youd excel at the job Identify the top 3 requirements in the job ad. Then, dedicate one paragraph to explaining how you fulfil each requirement. So for example, if the requirement is Facebook Advertising Experience, mention how you have done Facebook ads in the past and how youve excelled at it.
- Wrap it up and say thanks Thank the reader for reading your cover letter and propose the next steps. For example, If youd like to know more about my experience with Project XYZ, Id love to chat!
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Best Resume Fonts To Use
Choosing the right resume font can seem like an impossible task, especially as there are hundreds of choices available. Making sure your resume is readable is step number one.
You want to make sure that a potential employer can easily read it regardless of if its printed out or on a computer screen. Speaking of computer screens, not everyone is on the same operating system which means a unique or quirky font on your screen might show up as code or nonsense on someone elses.
And nobodys hiring nonsense.
Your resume is a professional representation of who you are, and as such, should look professional.
Many companies these days use an automated applicant tracking software to first pre-qualify candidates and the last thing you want to do is get sorted to the bottom of the pile, or worse, rejected, because the computer program didnt recognize your font or had difficulty reading it.
Sans Serifs fonts are fonts which are clean, crisp, sleek, and most importantly, scanner-friendly! Theyre also eyeball-friendly which means a hiring manager reading it wont have any issues trying to figure out what theyre looking at or run into eye-strain.
Stick to fonts like Arial, Verdana, Trebuchet MS, Century Gothic, Gill Sans MT , Lucida Sans and Tahoma.
Of course, over here at The Interview Guys, well confess that were partial to Helvetica. Its a flawless blend of style and clarity.
Try to stay between 10.5 and 12 points. Any smaller and its hard to read.
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