Not an Autobiography

Your resume is not an autobiography. This is something you need to keep in mind when creating one.

Far too often, professionals include too much or too little details in their resumes. Too much and you risk boring the interviewer. Too little and you don’t give them enough info to help them decide to move forward with you.

Your Resume Is a Summary of Your Professional Career

A simple Google search for “what to put on resume” shows you tons of resources telling you that you should include the following information:

  1. Contact information
  2. Career statement/objective
  3. Work history
  4. Skills
  5. Certifications and Awards
  6. Others

Simply looking at this list shows the person who wrote these articles doesn’t understand how the interviewing process works. Including everything on this list will result in 3+ page resumes.

Hiring managers are busy.

They don’t have time to go through hundreds of 3+ page resumes in order to hire one person for the role. They have their regular job that they do full-time. So, not taking that into account proves you don’t understand the purpose of resumes as well.

By definition, your resume summarizes your professional career. That’s why it fulfills a certain need and follows certain rules.

What Interviewers Are Looking For

Interviewers are looking for answers to two simple questions: if you can do the job and if you can do it well.

Your resume needs to answer this directly. If you don’t, there’s a high chance that you won’t proceed to the next step in the process.

The list above only answer the first question. It’s missing one crucial aspect.

All things being equal, a resume who answers both questions will proceed to the next step than an incomplete one.

What to Put and What Not to Put In Your Resume

Since a resume is used as part of the application process, it needs to have your contact information. Your name, phone, email address, and address are what you need most of the time. Again, you don’t need to add all ways to contact you like adding a QR code, your social media handles, and many more.

Your job history and experience answers the question on whether you can do the job or not. One thing you have to keep in mind is job titles differ across industries and companies. That’s why it’s important to describe your responsibilities along with the title/company.

A manager in one company might mean you managed people, but in another it can mean a specialized individual role. So if you don’t include that, it may count as a negative towards you.

The most important thing that the list fail at is answering the second question, “can you do the job well?”

You might think that certifications and skills listed are enough. They are good. But an even better way to demonstrate that is through results. Anyone can get certifications. Anyone can list down skills they are proficient in. After all, there’s no way to verify that on a resume by itself.

But if you include results, they are unique to you. No one can copy them. And they can easily be proven throughout the interview process as well.

All other information like hobbies and your career objectives don’t answer the questions hiring companies are looking for. That’s why they have no place on your resume.

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