The New Year is now just around the corner. While many people may be focusing on their new year’s resolutions this time of year, others may be prepping for a job hunt as companies begin to ramp up their hiring for 2019.
If you’re one of those people looking for a new job this coming year, your resume is one of the most important factors to get your foot in the door. Back in November, we spoke with resume expert and President/CEO of Great Resumes Fast, Jessica Hernandez, to get some tips on resume building. Now, we’re back again with Jessica to delve a bit deeper into the resume process for the New Year.
Q: Is it okay to send the same version of your resume to each job you apply for? Why or why not?
A: I would advise against mass distribution of the same resume. Employers can easily tell when a resume isn’t a perfect fit for the role, and if you apply to a position and aren’t able to show relevant experience and accomplishments as related to the needs of that position and company, your resume will be overlooked in favor of someone who took the time to customize their resume.
Q: How often should you be changing your resume?
A: You want to make changes to your resume each time you apply to a different organization. Small customizations are usually quick and easy to make. You could rearrange bullet points so your most relevant experience is given top priority. You also want to configure keywords so that the most important are shown first.
It’s very important to update your resume. I recommend updating your resume at least every six months. Too many people struggle to remember accomplishments, experiences, skills and dates because they waited too long between resume updates. This is critical career data that you want to keep on file. Keep a master resume and fill in important accomplishments, numbers, skills, and dates at least every six months.
Q: What is the biggest mistake people make when creating their resume?
A: Too broad of a focus on a resume will cost people great opportunities for better, higher-paying jobs. Employers are seeking specialists, not generalists, for the same reason we seek doctors who specialize in certain areas of medicine – we want to work with the best, someone who is an expert at what they do. Employers are searching for experts.
Q: In our last Q&A you stated that job seekers should avoid the “true functional resume format” since it sends up red flags. Could you elaborate on what this format is and why it does this?
A: A functional format removes all dates from the resume. Job seekers tend to do this when they need to downplay employment dates and draw attention away from a lack of recent experience. Usually career changes and job hopping are the two biggest reasons someone might choose to use a functional format for their resume. The problem with a functional format is that recruiters are looking at employment dates to determine if someone has a history of job longevity. They’re specifically looking at the length of time a person has worked at each place to determine how long they stayed before moving on to the next role. A functional format removes the dates and many recruiters will assume the applicant is trying to hide something and will move on to another candidate who has included dates.
Q: It is common assumption that your resume should be one page. What do you do when you have too much information? How do you select what is most important? What is okay to leave out?
A: It’s actually a very common resume myth that a resume must be only one page. For years career experts have been advising job seekers that a two- or three-page resume (in some cases) is best. You want to make sure you have enough space to include the impactful accomplishments that employers want to see. A new study just released by ResumeGo late this year actually proved that hiring managers prefer a two-page resume.
Q: Could you tell us more about Great Resumes Fast and how you can help people get ready for their job search in the new year?
A: For those who plan on searching for a job in the new year, Great Resumes Fast can partner with them to create polished and professional resumes, cover letters, and LinkedIn profiles that will frame their skills and accomplishments in the best possible light, expertly positioning them to attract employer attention and land better, higher-paying jobs.
To get in touch with Jessica and her team, visit https://www.greatresumesfast.com/.