When you’re out of work, your first inclination may be to apply to everything. You create a resume that fits every conceivable job you’ve done with the hope that one of those countless applications will result in an interview.
Unfortunately, that’s wishful thinking.
An article on Monster.com, provided tips on streamlining your resume. The points made are valuable.
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Target Your Career Goal
According to Tom Kelly, president of Executive Recruiting Solutions, many candidates are fuzzy about their job goals – what they want to do and can do. This is especially true for those in career transition. He writes, “The resume starts to lose focus. A whole bunch of extra stuff ends up in it in order to appeal to a wider range of employers or industries.”
In other words, you’ll come off as a jack of all trades and master of none. Not a good way to impress a hiring manager. The thing to do is to settle on one job target. At most, two. And they should be related. Never write a resume that has an accounting focus along with teaching history. The two positions are worlds apart. Keep it streamlined and focused.
Your Opening Summary Should be to the Point
That means, your resume should have an opening summary. Don’t make the mistake of believing that a hiring manager will search for necessary data. None will. They’re too busy. There are simply too many qualified candidates out there. Your resume needs to begin with a qualifications summary, and it needs to paint you as the perfect candidate for the position. You accomplish that with one, preferably two, recent/relevant/quantified achievements. Data like that will encourage a hiring manager to read on.
Also, never use an objective statement.
Harvey Brand, managing partner of Band & Gainey Associates, a recruiting firm writes, “You’re wasting page space with that (an objective), and you’re wasting your time and mine. Use the top third of the page to communicate your most recent experience and your impressive accomplishments.”
Trim Down Your Work Experience
In other words, don’t go back more than 15 years. If you’re in Information Technology, stop at 10 years as the field changes so rapidly. Not only will a hiring manager not read information that goes back decades, that data will invite age discrimination.
In the article, Tom Kelly adds, “I like to see summaries of earlier careers versus long, detailed explanations. You don’t have to list every job that you’ve had out of college on your resume.”
Don’t Go Overboard With Your Education
If you’re a seasoned professional, hiring managers and recruiters care about how you perform on the job, not what you did years ago in school. Don’t bother to list coursework, internships, leadership positions unless you’re a recent graduate with little to no professional work history.
Your Skills Need to be Focused
Don’t list everything in your resume whether it’s relevant or not. Extraneous detail and dated material will not impress a hiring manager. Get rid of no-longer-used technology on your resume, such as Cobol and Fortran. If you have an office skill, such as shorthand, that isn’t in demand, there’s no reason to list it.
The important thing to remember is that a hiring manager is looking for information about you that will help his company succeed. This means a resume that’s crafted with particular attention to the job posting and the position requirements.