Professional Resume Writing – Basic Rules
Creating the perfect resume is not possible as there are so many decision makers all with varying opinions. Each will have their own personal preferences and perspectives when it comes to reviewing your resume and extracting the information they need to determine if you are a viable candidate to them. A Certified Professional Resume Writer has one goal, and that is to sell you on your resume in a way that will entice the majority of decision makers.
Personal opinions and perspectives aside, here are some basic resume rules that everyone should follow:
Age, sex, martial status:
In North America, these details should be left out – they have no impact on how you perform your job and can be used for discrimination.
Political or religious affiliations:
I shouldn’t have to say this but we live in a diverse world where people do discriminate. Don’t provide an opportunity to eliminate you from contention purely because of your political or religious persuasions. Do not refer to any religious or political affiliations on your resume.
This can be an integral component of a resume, as long as it’s non-political and non-religious. It shows the reader a number of critical attributes about yourself: you are sharing, caring, willing to learn and most of all you give your time for free. What a good message to send to a potential employer!
Hobbies and leisure activities:
Many years ago human resource professionals and recruiters may have been looking to see what you did outside your business life. NO MORE. A resume is a professional, business presentation. Unless your hobbies have a bearing on the position you are applying for, it’s wasted space.
Keep it brief, just provide the company name and location. It’s not acceptable to include the name of your supervisor or manager, their telephone number or address.
It is necessary to include some of your industry’s jargon or buzzwords. It shows that you are up on current trends and technology and can interact well among your peers in their language. More importantly, it is likely your resume will be scanned for specific keywords. A missing keyword could result in a lost opportuntity
Leave it out; including this information will damage your chances and possibly eliminate you from an interview. And even at the interview stage, do not initiate any dollar figures. It could easily undersell you or over price you.
Reasons for leaving previous employment:
Your future employer doesn’t need to read on a resume anything about why you are no longer employed with a particular company. Once you obtain an interview, you will be confronted about the reasons for leaving a previous employer so remember, never criticise them.
Not on your resume and do not include, “references available upon request”. This is a given and would be just as redundant as putting the heading, “Resume” at the top of your resume. Take your list of references on a separate sheet of paper with the same heading as the resume and cover letter with you to the interview.
Sometimes this is a controversial subject but your resume is a truthful document and people will take time off for personal, care giving, health reasons or they have simply have been unemployed. Whatever the reason, any employment gap will be seen as a red flag and without an explanation an employer could come to the wrong conclusion, so account for any gaps in your employment if possible.
These are only a few basic resume rules. Find out if your resume will enitice the majority of decision makers when you send it for a free resume critique from a Certified Professional Resume Writer.
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