Resume Services – Q&A
Is it okay to exclude certain skills or work history that may make me appear over-qualified for a job?
Yes. This is another one of those “be honest but not stupid” situations. This is a new problem arising for some people in today’s job market who appear over-qualified for what they really would like to do. There is no rule that says you must fully disclose all of your work history and education – only what’s relevant to the position in question. For example, if you have a law degree but you really want to work as a paralegal, then don’t include your law degree on your resume. If you do, you will probably disqualify yourself since you will appear over-qualified for the position and thus “unfit.” Your goal should be to get the interview. During the interview you can talk about your legal background and explain why you really want to be a paralegal rather than a lawyer. Most resume services can help you assess the situation to determine best course of action.
What language style should I use in describing my experience?
Be succinct and use lots of keywords which consist of action verbs (primarily for conventional resumes) and nouns (primarily for scannable and electronic resumes). Keep your sentences short and to the point.
How do I refer to myself on the resume?
It’s not necessary to directly refer to yourself. If you use action verbs in completing each resume section (directed, supervised, marketed, completed, etc.), the reader assumes you are the subject. Never refer to yourself as “I.” Doing so gives your resume a very self-centered tone. Companies providing resume services understand resume protocol and speaking in the 3rd person.
Should I include personal information when writing my resume?
The general rule for including personal information is “No.” By all means avoid including such extraneous information as age, sex, height, weight, marital status, spouse, children, race, and religion. This information does nothing to enhance your candidacy. In fact, it may raise negative questions about you and your judgment. As for hobbies and other interests, only include those that might enhance your candidacy. Using resume services will ensure
I’m 21 years old and I’ll be graduating from college in 10 months. But I have hardly any work experience. I’m not sure what I want to do or what to put on my resume. What should I do to attract employers?
There’s lots you can do between now and graduation to better position yourself with employers. Your strongest assets appear to be (1) your education, (2) your youth, and (3) your willingness, enthusiasm, and drive to work. Make sure you do a skills assessment and develop a strong employer-oriented objective that communicates both your enthusiasm and willingness to work and learn. Examine your education carefully in terms of skills you’ve thus far learned and applied. Do a careful analysis of any work experience, be it an internship or volunteer work, to identify your strongest skills and accomplishments. Write a functional or combination resume and include powerful cover letters with each resume you send to employers or others. Be sure to network for information, advice, and referrals, and be persistent in your job search. And between now and graduation, become more entrepreneurial, do some volunteer work or create an internship that best relates to your career goals. Also, don’t overlook sales positions since many are entry-level and require little previous work experience. Your long-term career growth may be dependent on having at one time had sales experience which teaches you to become very entrepreneurial within a company and learn the bottom-line, key experience and skills required for today’s companies. As many employers will tell you, we are all in sales, whether we like it or not! The sooner you learn this, the better for your long-term career growth.
Is it necessary to do a video or multimedia resume?
It depends. Only if requested to do so or if it is appropriate for a particular occupational field, such as modeling, sales, film, theater, art, music, or multimedia. Be very careful in using these types of visual and high-tech resumes. They are not for everyone, and despite marketing hype about these “new resumes,” only a few people probably use them successfully. They may have unintended consequences for you. Ask yourself these questions: “What is it you’re trying to communicate in these mediums that you can’t communicate in a paper or electronic resume? Is this an appropriate medium at this stage in your job search?” If you volunteer a video resume, you may in fact put yourself at a disadvantage. Contact a firm providing resume services to determine what an appropriate medium is based on your situation.
A video includes key verbal and nonverbal elements that should be communicated at the job interview, not at the resume stage. Like putting a picture on your resume, your video may be disliked by 50% of those who see it. Be careful in confusing what elements should go into a resume versus those elements that you are in a better position to control in a face-to-face job interview. Those firms that provide resume services can point you in the right direction in using videos or multimedia.
How many drafts of the resume should I complete before going into final production?
As many as you need to get it perfect. Keep drafting and re-drafting your resume until it becomes a quick and well-focused read. Ask yourself this question: “In 30 seconds will the employer know exactly what I have done, can do, and will do for him or her?” If it’s not perfectly clear and impressive enough to motivate the employer to invite you to an interview, keep drafting your resume until you get it right. It must have immediate and lasting impact. Evaluate your resume properly before sending it to your targeted audience. There are resume services that will provide you multiple drafts until its perfect.
What’s the best way to evaluate my drafts?
Resume services can help you conduct two different types of evaluations: internal and external. The internal one involves you assessing various aspects of your resume according to the checklist of evaluation criteria. The external evaluation involves giving your resume to individuals who are competent to assess your resume according to the external evaluation criteria. Your best evaluation will come from individuals who are in hiring positions.