Ask the Recruiter: Resume Advice

Posted by Pekin Insurance on Jun 18, 2018

Common resume questions answered straight from a recruiter.

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The Resume.  It is the outline of your entire career and the one document that can be the deciding factor between you and your dream job.  No pressure, right?  There are many common questions that people ask when talking about a resume.  Depending upon what source you read, you might get different answers to different questions.  We have answered some of these common questions below.

How long should it be?
The rule of thumb is to keep it to one page.  As important as it is to keep a resume simple and to the point, it is also important not to leave out critical information.  If you are someone with 5-10 years of professional experience, keep it to one page.  If you have had over 10 years, you may have had several jobs or a lot of experience for that matter, so feel free to expand it to two.

How many years should it go back?
For this question, it is important to ask yourself “is what I have on my resume relevant?”  If you have experience from 15 years ago that will help you stand out when applying for a job today, it should be on your resume.  However, if the experience that you have listed is not relevant to the type of jobs you are looking for, what value is it really adding?

How detailed should it be?
Your resume should be detailed enough for a recruiter or hiring manager to know what you do in a few seconds or less.  If you have multiple paragraphs written about everything you did in your previous jobs, people are not going to take the time to read it.  But, if you have a short, detailed description and bullet points listing the tasks that you were assigned, it makes the resume much more readable.

How often should I update my resume?
Keep in mind that updating your resume is not something that should be done only when you are looking for a new job.  It is important to update it multiple times per year.  If you have quarterly reviews, set a reminder to update your resume, too.  If you are at the same job for five years and try to write a resume, what are the odds that you are going to remember all of the projects, significant or not, that you took part in?  You don’t want to sell yourself short!


There are many tips and tricks to writing the “perfect” resume, and everyone has a different opinion of what it should look like, so take the time to get multiple opinions.  Do your best to make your resume stand out, but that doesn’t mean you need to recreate the wheel.  Stick to the basics:  simple, impactful, buzz words, concise, and clear.

 


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