There’s no single “one-size-fits-all” resume. The key is to present yourself as the right candidate for the job. Include relevant information that best positions you for success and makes you stand out among the competition. The most effective resume is the one that gets you hired.
- It takes an employer approximately six seconds to make a “fit/no fit” decision when they first read your resume.
- Eighty percent of this precious time is spent on these elements: your name, your current and most recent employers, related start and end dates, and your educational background.
So be sure not to clutter your resume with information that doesn’t matter. Give your prospective employer what they want, and be prepared to tweak your presentation accordingly.
The 10-Year Rule of Thumb
When you submit a resume, your goal is to immediately impress the reader with specific qualifications and experiences that make you a fit for the position on the table. That being said, employers are most interested in what you’ve done recently. Most experts agree that 10 years’ worth of work history is a good rule of thumb, though there may be exceptions.
- If you’ve worked for the same company for more than 10 years, focus on the different positions you’ve held. Show how you’ve grown and advanced within your organization. Stay away from technology or business practices that may have become obsolete.
- If a job description asks for more experience, then limiting your resume to 10 years may make you look unqualified. If you’re worried that including positions you held decades ago will make you seem too old, it’s okay to add skills you learned there versus listing the specific job. Again, focus on what the hiring manager wants to see, not how much information you can cram onto two pages – which by the way, is the maximum resume length you should be striving for.
- If you have a shorter work history, you may want to include more positions. Even if they don’t seem relevant, be creative. That job you had flipping burgers at the beach? Showcase how it helped you develop teamwork, communication and customer service skills. As you gain more experience, you can swap out these positions for others that are more in line with your chosen field.
- Be consistent and provide a complete timeline. Omit your oldest jobs, not random positions, to avoid gaps on your resume. Remember, you can list years on your timeline versus months.
About Your Education
In addition to your work experience, consider how your resume presents your education and other professional training achievements.
- Unless you’re a recent graduate, there’s no need to include the dates that you completed college. Simply list your school, degree and any pertinent information, for instance, “major in management with minor concentration in human resources administration.”
- It’s generally not necessary to include dates when you completed professional development courses or classes. However, you should list certification dates, so employers know they’re current.
Partnering with a career coach can be extremely beneficial as you perfect your resume – and tailor it to each job opportunity that comes your way. To learn more, read our related posts or contact the professional recruitment team at PrideStaff Fresno today.