By: Stephanie Diana Wilson- Gast
Normally I stick to Condo specific topics but, recently I have been handed other people’s resumes and asked to take a look and there are a few topics that should be addressed. Since I work in the Business arena and many of those who read my blog are as well the importance of a resume cannot be understated. And in the academic arena of business not enough is really ever taught about writing and updating a resume. So, I have developed some tips on updating your resume.
Keep up with trends in resumes
Resumes are a lot like fashion things fall in and out of style. A great example of things falling out of style is the Objective statement. The muse has written a great article about how it is considered a faux Pas to put an objective statement in a resume. The articel can been seen on https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-only-time-its-ok-to-use-an-objective-statement-on-your-resume
However, much like the wearing of white after labor day it has been changed to fit in certain circumstances and changed to fit what is in trend now. Welcome the new trending concept in resume writing called the Branding Statement. US News’ Money section has an article on this topic that defines a branding statement as, “Your branding statement should be very brief. It’s not your job title, nor is it a list of your skills. It should provide a description of you, your attributes, the value that you provide to your employer, and things that differentiate you from your competition.”. So summarizing it is a lot like the intro statement on a twitter account. Short, to the point and says a lot about you. To Check out more on this topic check out the article noted above at http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/outside-voices-careers/2013/01/15/resumes-101-swap-a-stale-objective-for-a-fresh-branding-statement.
Another trend is the concept that a resume should only be one page and others feel that a resume should be as many pages as they can. Monster.com has a great article on this specific topic and the fact the current trend is 2 pages. One page a person tends to make the fonts so small to accommodate that no one can read it without a microscope. But; it all depends on what type of job you are applying to. I think my little sister who just graduated with her undergrad put it best when she asked similar questions about writing a resume my resume would look totally different from hers because, “That’s right you have a grown up career”. Applying to jobs in the mortgage industry will look different than small company Office Management jobs. So research is always in style there. You can check out more on monster.com on this topic at http://www.monster.com/career-advice/article/how-to-decide-on-resume-length.
Formatting is really important. We have all heard the studies about the few seconds a resume has to make an impression on an HR rep, Hiring Manager, Manager, or Recruiter but, the info on your resume can be all for nothing if the formatting looks like something whipped up in a high school study hall class on resume basics. TG’s Adventures In Education has a great example of what I am talking about. http://www.aie.org/find-a-job/write-your-resume/sample-resumes-and-templates/Resume-Template-High-School-Student-Academic.cfm
Now this doesn’t mean you need to go and do a “Legally Blonde” resume moment by putting your resume on colored paper or in any way drastically dressing it up. Just go into your Microsoft Word program or if you are like me and love Chromebooks go to the Google Docs program and when creating a new doc select the resume formats that they have standard. They are professional and add a level of professionalism that the above noted high school example leaves out.
Also and this is really important to your own sanity save the work you have done as a word doc. If you have a chromebook do it as both a google doc and a docx format. However, also make an uneditable PDF version. The gdoc/ docx, and doc format save helps so you don’t have to start from scratch every time you want to update your resume.
The reason for an uneditable PDF is often we apply to jobs through craigslist or other sites and it is important to protect the information that you transfer. An uneditable formatting will make it harder for people to copy or change info on your resume. We can all never be too careful with our personal info.
Don’t Show Your Age
One time when I was still new to mortgage I went into an interview and I didn’t think about putting the year I graduated high school and college. When in the interview the company manager actually told me, “aww you are just a baby”. Luckily I was raised to be quick witted and replied with, “I may be young but, I am highly educated, experienced, and dedicated”. That usually shuts things down right away that and when they comment on how young I look patting my hair and saying, “Yeah in my family on my mother’s side we age really well” and saying “I am blessed to look younger than my years and experience prove to be”. But; this all proves an important point before an interview is lined up thing like that allude to age. And where age discrimination is illegal who is to say that isn’t happening when someone reviews a resume.
Another fatal flaw in the age topic is if you put too much experience on your resume or list how many years of experience you have in a summary or branding statement. Monster has a great article on this topic at http://www.monster.com/career-advice/article/5-things-you-should-never-put-on-your-resume.
An actual life example is one of my friends gave me her husband’s resume to edit which was a five page resume showing his 30 years in manufacturing. By cutting down to the most recent experience within the last 10 years it made his resume 2 pages and gave him a digital face lift. The long and the short of it is most employers don’t want to know what you did at the very start of your career most job fields have changed so drastically that what you did even ten years ago as is asked on most standard applications may be outdated and unhelpful. So, rule of thumb keep it current and keep it on point. Sleek and fashionable like a timeless little black dress.
Social media is an important tool in both hunting for jobs and creating a resume. Many companies and application sites are requiring you to log in and apply with linkedIn so having a LinkedIn account can make or break your job search. Much like with a resume some things you need to leave on the private setting on facebook and other things you can post on LinkedIn which is more or less facebook for careers for those who don’t know.
So, putting your twitter handle or your link to facebook should be done with causion. Much like the reason for uneditable PDF format resumes the internet is a scary place filled with people who want to be you. So, protecting your ID is vital. Also we all put things we will joke about with friends and family on facebook that we wouldn’t want to account or comment on with coworkers. Or at least we wouldn’t want to comment on these posts with co workers for fear of making HR reps twitch with the disturbance in the force.
This same principle goes for using LinkedIn or Twitter for Business don’t put anything that you wouldn’t converse with coworkers about. Articles you write or any scholarly publication, artistic publication. If you can’t talk about it around the water cooler without fearing for your job then don’t even add it to the publications section of LinkedIn (where I will post links to this article in mine [shameless plug done]).
Have A Portfolio Ready
Now this again is determined based on what type of job you are applying to but; many times an employer wants to see examples of your business writing, or materials you have contributed to help with the furthering of your department. So, always draw up materials separate on your own time that do not contain proprietary info and keep it as a portfolio. Also starting a blog on your career field and keeping some of those published articles also can be helpful. It all depends on the job and company applying to. And if you put a lot of research into your writing. If there is no research or teeth to your writing it will be a resume fashion accessory victim as Joan Rivers would have equivocate it.
References Provided Upon Request… duh?
Seriously don’t put “references provided upon request” at the bottom of your resume. It kind of makes those reviewing the resume make Homer Simpson like sounds because of course when they ask you will have to provide references. That’s the whole point in the background check. Regardless of applying for school or work you need to have people vouch for you. Putting this quote anywhere on your resume is like a man wearing high heel shoes for fashion reasons. It was acceptable in the 18th century but; now in the 21st century not so much. Now it kind of looks like a Napoleon Complex issue.
To Address or Not To Address That Is The Question?
I learned quickly in college putting your address or even just city and state on a resume is a gamble. Like we mentioned about applying to jobs online putting address info can be risky although most business communications courses still teach you to do it. Amanda Augustine at the Ladders wrote an awesome article on this topic as well. You can catch it online at https://www.theladders.com/career-advice/things-you-should-never-put-on-your-resume/.
I had applied to a job while in my Senior year of college for an Onsite Resident Manager position for a small property management company. And I made the fools mistake of putting my address on my resume as that was what I was taught in school. A week later some strange man showed up at my door from the company saying he was doing an impromptu interview at my home because, he wanted to see if I keep my home well and thus would keep the unit they would be providing equally well. My well kept apartment helped him decide to hire me. However, I turned him down because that was super creepy and I adopted a dog shortly after. You can never be too careful.
To sum up this has been seven tips for writing a resume. We all need to protect ourselves and our data along with making sure we stand out from the crowd and look professional while doing so. You have a short amount of time to make that first impression with your resume and those moments can’t be undone. So, keep your resume current, on point, and fashionable.
If this article helped you remember sharing is caring. Also follow me on twitter at @sdgwwgds and subscribe to this blog Condo Land.