Resume basics are something we all need to know. Whether you are composing your resume for the very first time or you are a seasoned professional just looking to put some updated touches on a resume you've been compiling for decades, everybody can use a refresher on technique.
So let's start with this important question:
What is a resume, really?
What's the point in having one? A resume is basically just a way to get your foot in the door for an interview, so it's essentially a marketing tool. You are marketing yourself. If your resume is good enough to catch the attention of the gatekeepers that schedule interviews with the "higher-ups", you've accomplished your first step. Although there are a lot of web sites and books available on how to structure the overall resume, I thought it would be helpful to cover some questions I get asked all the time. This is essentially a mini list geared at keeping your resume in line with today's accepted standards. These are some of the most common questions I get:
- How long should a resume be? 1-3 pages are accepted as the norm.
- Color in resumes? using color is okay, just don't get wild. (Hint – adding clip art or a photo of a pink poodle’s rear end? Not okay.)
- Should I have an objective statement? No. But if you do include one, don’t make the huge resume mistake I see all the time.
- Should I include references? References are not necessary on your resume (but you should have them available).
- Does my email addresses matter? Yes, and don’t forget about your email signature. Make them both professional and appropriate.
- Above all – no typos. No spelling mistakes (unless you want to end up in the Shredded Bin of Resume Purgatory).
With this mini-list of adjustments, I know you'll be well on your way to getting your foot in the door and landing an interview!
Happy job hunting!