Is the Season of Your Career Reflected in Your Resume?

Little feet in slippers that are too big

We are only in March, and already we have busted out the shorts and sandals in the Cooley household. Because temperatures were hitting the 70s and 80s around the middle of the month, there were marathon sessions of trying on last year’s clothing to see what fits and what doesn’t.

While my children take great delight in being free from the weight of heavy winter boots and the constraints of thick coats, I can’t help but feeling like it’s too soon for this kind of weather. Don’t get me wrong — I love feeling the fresh breezes come through the open windows of my house, seeing flowers start to poke through the dirt, and enjoying the greenery all around! But it’s not exactly normal to have such warm weather this early in the year (not in Wisconsin, anyway).

How good are you at matching your résumé with the season of your career?

Are you going to be graduating in May, and yet you have a résumé that’s three pages long? Or have you been in your career for 15 years, but you have packed everything into a single page?

Now, I’m not saying that there is a “right length” for a résumé. Really, if your résumé gets you a callback for an interview, it’s the right length because it’s doing its job. But there is something to be said about giving résumés that are not the expected length a second look to make sure that one of the following errors is not being committed:

  • Too much space wasted on detailing job duties. You really don’t want to do this. Job duties simply tell what was expected of you in your position. They don’t give any hint as to why you were extraordinary or how you added value to your employer. Plus, they are dreadfully b-o-r-i-n-g to read. Talking about job duties is a sure way to blend in with every other job seeker who is applying for the position.
  • Including irrelevant information. Saying too much about unrelated personal pursuits in your résumé is actually a detractor. For example, if you are applying for a manager position with a music store, they probably won’t care too much about the blue ribbon you won for your macramé tablecloth.
  • Using out-of-date filler. Do you have an objective statement that tells the hiring manager what you want out of your career? Or say “References available upon request” at the end of your résumé? Both of those conventions of résumé writing have not been recommended for some time now. Not only do they waste space, they make you look out-of-touch.
  • Omitting important details. When you take a look at that single page, does it really represent your career well? Are you fully fleshing out your accomplishments to show your true value? Do you include information such as certifications, association memberships, or pertinent activities? Using the music store manager position again, while the macramé tablecloth may not matter to them, the fact that you have been an active member of your local city band for the past five years will.

Take another look at your résumé. What do you see?

Image courtesy of sugarfrizz

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