This week’s resume writing blog post will take on a mailbag format with questions from real job seekers. Below I have listed out three questions related to resume writing that I received this week with my advice below each one. We’ve noticed a lot of you have some great questions in the comments section so feel free to provide your own questions there at the bottom of the article.
Question: Should I list every job I’ve held on my resume?
This question depends on your specific background. We do not suggest that experienced candidates with over 20 years of experience list employers from beyond 20 years ago on their resume because doing so may “date” you and the resume may become too lengthy. In some cases if you’ve transitioned jobs many times over a short period of time, it is also not advantageous to list each position. If the job is not relevant to your intended target or was a short lived position (typically three months or less), it is in your best interest to leave it off the resume and avoid the stigma of being a “job hopper”.
Question: Why did the Nexxt critique state that I should not use personal pronouns in my resume?
Different from your cover letter, a resume is traditionally a more formal and professional document that should not include personal pronouns like I, me, my, you, etc. When evaluating resumes, we often come across candidates who describe their work experience in a more conversational tone on paper, which could be detrimental to your chances of landing an interview with employers. The safest route is to write your resume without personal pronouns and leave that for your cover letter since it is less formal and a place for you to describe yourself in specific detail.
Question: Should I have multiple versions of my resume?
Depending on your specific job targets, you may or may not need multiple versions of your resume. We typically recommend that candidates tweak their career summaries, skills, and verbiage on their resume to match the specific job posting they are targeting. Your work experience up to this point isn’t going to change, so look for transferrable skills related to your job targets that you have developed in your career and incorporate them in your resume. If, however, you have two very different job targets with varying experience for each target, then it may be advantageous to have two resumes that highlight and emphasizes specific experiences over others.
I hope you enjoyed the first edition of our “Resume Mailbag”. Comment below with any other general questions or topics you would like covered!