Although this may seem like a simple question with an equally simple answer – my objective, work experience and academic history – it’s not really. It’s also the incorrect way to look at a resume.
Your Opinion is Secondary to the Hiring Manager’s
What you want on your resume doesn’t matter at all. What the hiring manager or recruiter expects or hopes to see on the document is all that counts.
An effective, interview-generating resume will have the following attributes:
1. An opening summary with an overview of your skills that proves you’re the best candidate for the position. To support this statement, you should include one, preferably two, recent/relevant/quantified accomplishments. What you want from the job/company isn’t important. How you can fulfill the employer’s needs is paramount.
2. Quantified accomplishments. Note: not daily duties, but the results of those duties. Coming to work on time isn’t an accomplishment. It’s expected. Saving your company money or making it money – that’s an achievement. Employers are particularly drawn to accomplishment-oriented individuals. Past performance is generally predictive of future performance.
3. Work history that is tailored to the job you’re targeting. If you taught history but are now in accounting and you load your resume down with the tasks you did while teaching, you won’t be getting an interview. Stay on point. Provide only those tasks that are accounting related. The rest isn’t important to the employer and should be excluded from your resume.
4. Academic history that supports your ability to do the job. Again, if you have a PhD in history but are targeting a new field – accounting – list only the degree you have in it. A PhD in history won’t impress someone who’s looking for an accountant. It could very well confuse hiring managers and make them pass you over for an interview.
5. A business oriented focus. That means, no listing of hobbies, at home activities, likes or dislikes. Hiring managers don’t care if you love baking, walking your dog, gardening, going to Boy Scouts with your kids or anything else that’s personal. They want to know if you can do the job. Leave the personal details to the interview or after you’ve received an offer.
Remember: What you want to see on your resume isn’t as important as what an employer hopes to see. Your audience is the person who can grant you an interview and make you an offer. To succeed, keep their preferences in mind.