What You Don't Know About Resumes
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What You Don't Know About Resumes

A resume should reflect the best qualities of a job applicant. This includes little subtleties which can have a negative impact.

There is much conventional wisdom about what a resume should and should not include. Equally, there is a debate about fonts, length and colors. But what largely goes unexplained are little points that can mean the difference between getting an interview and being passed over.

Header

The header of your resume should simply state your name--with your credentials, your physical address, your cellular phone number and your email address.

Charles Hathaway, CFS

5155 Main Street

(305) 555-9876

charles.hathaway@email.com

Here are the reasons why:

Hire managers can find your credentials without having to read the entire document. A physical street address means you are local and can commute. Your mobile phone number assures you will answer and not a machine if contacted.

Your email address is easy to remember and does not give the wrong impression. For instance, a well-qualified job candidate using a hobby as an email address doesn’t make the applicant look serious. Worse yet are silly email addresses that denote character flaws, “passedouttilmonday@email.com” and “onestepaheadofthelaw@email.com”.

Using PO boxes for your mailing address may give a recruiter the wrong impression. She might take to mean you are not actually in the area or worse. Listing your home phone is not prudent for several reasons. The first is obvious, if you are not at home or even outside, you will not answer. Other factors are children and pets interrupting. The general commotion in every household is also likely to be too distracting.

Resume File Name

Save your resume under your name. After writing your resume in a word processing suite or cloud, name it for yourself. A hiring manager would rather see the file “Charles Hathaway CFS” as the file attached in a email rather than “Charley’s new resume” or “Charles resume_2”. Each will only make the hiring manager wonder what the other resume states.

Furthermore, incomplete and/or unspecific file names only serve to confuse an employer. How many people with the same first name have applied for the same position?

Length

This is often a subject of much debate. How long should a resume be? The answer might surprise you...as long as it needs to be. That usually translates into no more than two pages, unless you’re writing a Curriculum Vitae. As a general rule, any employment over fifteen to twenty years old should be omitted. Highlight your strengths. Less education? Start with career experience. Just completed college? Start with your education.

Shakespeare defined brevity as the “soul of wit”. Resumes should cite facts, figures, actions and accomplishments. Job “descriptions” should be left out. If you are unsure about your writing ability or properly formatting your resume, contact the author.

You can also read more about the author in this feature article.

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