What Does Your Facebook Page and Your Resume Have in Common? If You’re Smart, You’ll Choose What You Share
You know that Facebook friend you have who’s plastered across your dashboard because they tend to overshare? You know the one — a picture of every meal they eat, a status to tell you they totally wish they were at the beach right now, an event for every one of their cat’s life milestones.
Yeah, that stuff is just as obnoxious on your resume, except you’re going to be the one who loses out. So, here’s what not to share:
Don’t tell them the reason they won’t want to hire you.
“Even though I have been out of the industry for ten years, I have kept my skills sharp with extra training courses.”
Never point out your weak points by trying to overcome the objection before they’ve made it. Instead, organize your resume to lead with the training courses. Read through job descriptions from the industry you’re trying to break into, use that to draw parallels between the job you’ve worked most recently, and develop those skills that crossover in the body of your resume.
Don’t advertise that you wore many different hats.
“As the Office Assistant, I was in charge of accounting and HR and training and sales and filing and web design and marketing and project managment and office electrical repairs and…”
Remember: Jack of all trades, Master of none. Odds are that the job you want is only looking for skills in two or maybe three of those categories. Don’t try to impress your future boss with the number of hats you wore if you won’t be expected to do the same thing in the new job. It’s more likely that the person reading will come away thinking that you worked for a dysfunctional organization with a poor management structure than that you were a wunderkind. They’d much rather have someone that can do the job they were hired for than someone who will rush through their tasks to fill in for the IT guy in case of a lightning strike.
Don’t try to explain why you have an employment gap, just try to fill it.
“I took a year off after graduating to help care for a sick family member”
This kind of thing is very common, but an explanation such as this has no place on the resume. Lots of people have extenuating circumstances that explain why they weren’t working for a period, but if the hiring manager is interested, they’ll ask you about it in the interview. It’s much better if you try to fill in those dates by thinking outside the cubicle. Did you do any volunteer work during that time? Take any training classes? Work on any industry-related projects or side hobbies?
Don’t fluff it up with meaningless or irrelevant awards or achievements.
“I made Dean’s List and I was an Eagle scout and I won ‘Best Smile’ four consecutive months when I waited tables after colege.”
Sorry to burst your bubble, Eagle Scouts, but that’s an achievement for the college application. It won’t help you on your resume, because you don’t want them wondering why you want them to consider an achievement that you got when you were sixteen years old for a job today. Same thing goes for Dean’s List – it’s too common to have any real meaning. List your GPA instead to show your academic prowess. If an achievement or award doesn’t directly demonstrate a hard skill that you’ll need for this job, you’re only taking space away from the things that do.
You need to be honest, but ultimately you control what goes on your resume and what doesn’t.
You are by no means obligated to list every single job, activity, award, club, or project you’ve ever done. And you aren’t expected to. Every single line should be designed to show that you have the skills and the experience that the new job is asking for, and nothing else. If a line doesn’t directly accomplish that goal? Cut it.
And remember, if taking the white-out to your resume proves too painful, you know where to find us. Send us an email and we’ll help you get that dream job.