Writing a resume is a balancing act of sorts. Earlier on in a career, or right out of college, the balance beam tends to be a wide. But as the career progresses, that beam gets narrower. For some, it turns into a tightrope. In other words, there is a fine line between a resume that does not have enough information and one that have too much information.
It’s the Goldilocks syndrome (that’s all me, man – am I a creative schmuck…or not)
I got my first job (not counting pumping gas at my dad’s service station when I was 12) selling newspapers and magazines at 15. That was 35 years ago. Since then I have worked for more than a few companies, including myself.
If I listed all my jobs and experiences, my resume would be about 6 pages long; and that would be the condense version. So here are my thoughts on how to get Goldilocks to like your resume (without having to buy a how to guide like Guerrilla Resume – superb though it may be).
What the recruiter wants
The recruiter wants relevance. The recruiter wants a compelling reason to read your resume for longer than a couple of seconds. A longer the resume, the less compelling it becomes. The challenge is that the cutoff point (is it one page or 3) is a moving target.
You avoid that by becoming relevant. You become relevant by focusing on what the recruiter or company is looking. And tailoring your work history and experience to that theme. If the job is about customer service, then the theme of your resume must be customer service.
Do you include your time working as a night security while in between jobs. Yes, if it involved you interacting with clients and customers frequently. No, if it was touring from building to building hitting points.
So the first objective is to establish what the recruiter/employer wants and reflect that theme through your experience. That means highlighting the work experience that matches and severely condensing, if not alltogether eliminating experience that does not from your resume. It’s called tailoring the resume but also taking it a step further by focusing on job experiences that are relevant. It makes you revelant.
What to Eliminate
Most recruiters/employers have a passing interest in your education. If the job requires interacting with international clientele, it might be important to mention some fluency in a specific language. Depending on the job, having a six sigma certification could a good thing to note on your resume.
No one cares that you were a Chaine des Rotiserre member or the grand poobah at the royal elk lodge. That you are proficient in MS Office apps is nice but you’re not going to get a job for it.
And listing references or mentioning it takes up space – valuable space. As a hiring manager, I assume you have references that you can provide me when I need it. And if you have not vetted your references, then you’re a dead duck anyways.
You were president of your graduation class. Congratulations but unless it fits into the job you are applying for; leave it off.
Your resume should have 4 parts:
- Header/Contact information
- Summary of qualification/accomplishments
- Work History
That pretty much needs to all fit on one page. And everything on that one page should tie into one theme. And that theme should be based on the most relevant requirement of the hiring company.
No would be right. It’s not simple. How to condense the work history to make it relevant comes next…
So, next week – same battime…same batchannel…same batstation…good night.