A resume should tell the reader what is relevant … and no more. A resume SHOULD NEVER be a full account of every place you’ve ever worked, and every task you’ve ever done. So if you’re fooling yourself into thinking that your resume needs to be a full works of your professional career, you’re very wrong.
If a person applies for a mechanical position, for example, is a beauty certificate important?
As you write your resume, take notice of what you’re cataloging and including within your resume, because chances are, you will need to do a bit of nip/tuck as you progress through the writing phase.
When finished writing your resume draft, criticize every line item to determine relevance.
Here are examples of details that may not have a home in your resume:
High school. If you possess a college degree, listing a HS diploma seems implied. Listing high school doesn’t offer much value to your employment candidacy, does it? You’re probably safe in listing your HS diploma only if you’re a new graduate. Any education received after grade school, should be given a more prominent listing.
Listing a college degree within a resume is a no-brainer. But, what if only a class or two were taken five years ago? Rather than this continued education being an asset, it has turned into a liability. Unless continued education is current, aggressively being pursued, or completed, you may wish to delete it from your resume. Oftentimes, you’ll notice jobseekers list numbers of credits or credit hours. Consider this option only if the degree has yet to be obtained, and the classes are current. Some resume books conflict on this subject, so use your judgment when listing grade point average. A GPA of 3.5, on a scale of 4.0., is much better than a 2.9.
Volunteer positions. Volunteer positions can be valuable only if the employer perceives them to be. A challenge to determine, so look at them through the eyes of your employers. If you’re an accounting professional, and your volunteer positions have you performing financial tasks, then these positions can be helpful and pertinent. As a side note, volunteer positions can be used to replace or fill-in employment discrepancies.
Certification programs. List only those certificates related to the position. Let’s say for example, you’re changing career fields: computers to sales. The only way your computer certifications are relevant to a sales position is whether you’re targeting technical sales. If you plan to target other industries, then weigh the importance of listing details about technical abilities. Remember, your resume should serve as a bridge between your past work experiences and your current career goals. Without that bridge, you’re wasting valuable job-search hours.
Eliminating older work history can be beneficial, not to mention shave years from a person’s age. Countless resume experts seem to agree that a resume should include about 10 years of work experience, much like an application. There are exceptions to this rule, however. Let’s say, you’ve been with the same company for 12-15 years. It’s challenging, and probably irrelevant, to shave off the first few years with the employer. Old work history, from the 1970’s and 1980’s, is another story. Weigh the importance of keeping these details on your updated resume. If these old positions don’t offer any value to your current candidacy, there might not be a reason to keep it around.
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