Resume writing gives me a headache. Is anything more of a beating than writing a resume?
You want to sound confident, but not cocky. You want to showcase your varied experience, but not look like you change jobs often. You want to make a strong case for a job, without appearing desperate.
Thank goodness I haven’t had to compile a resume in a while. I’m not sure I could stomach the process again.
I resigned from The Dallas Morning News in September after 27 years as a reporter. Instead of preparing a resume and hitting the pavement, I started this website, hoping to succeed as my own boss.
But I know many other people aren’t able to gamble on self-employment. They need to find a job with an established company now. And the staple of a job search is still a well-done resume.
So how do you prepare one that accomplishes your goal: to land the job you want? I’ve seen a few articles lately that offer advice.
You’ve probably heard, as I have, that you should keep your resume to one page. Nonsense, says this article by the staffing firm Robert Half International.
“This job search myth is perhaps the oldest of the bunch,” it says. “Even if it were true at some point, it certainly isn’t now. Hiring managers are much more interested in getting a true sense of your skills and experience than counting the number of pages you use.”
Consider the length of a resume
“The average résumé gets read in 10 seconds,” Beshara says. “The person looking at your résumé should be able to easily understand exactly who you have worked for and what that company does.”
Create a simple Word document with a traditional font, such as Times New Roman, he advises.
“Go easy on boldface type, italics, and underlining,” Beshara says.
An article on a Wall Street Journal blog says resume-writers should cite their accomplishments first, instead of immediately listing jobs in reverse chronological order.
When you do describe your previous jobs, focus on the past 10 years, says Nikita Garcia, the writer.
“The rest can be summarized,” she says.
A resume shouldn’t be full of personal information, Garcia writes.
“Don’t include too many personal details like birth date, citizenship, marital status, religion or other family information, unless the employer has asked for it,” she says.
You can find many other resources on writing resumes. Try to find tips for tailoring your resume to your field. There’s no one-size-fits-all resume.
Everyone, including the self-employed, should keep a record of jobs dates, duties and accomplishments. You might suddenly hear about a job that interests you, and you want to be prepared to fire off a resume quickly.
With the Internet and social media, the job-hunting process has changed dramatically. But the search still starts with a resume. Prepare one thoughtfully. A resume can greatly help or hinder your chances to land a job.