Updating, editing and/or changing the content or appearance of your resume can be a daunting process. Most of the time, you’re not sure what is considered “okay” to include, if there is anything that should be left out altogether, or what is professional while still being unique. You may find yourself with some more free time right now than you normally have so it’s a great time to take advantage of it and get things done that you normally would not do – like revamping your resume. Here are some answers to common resume questions that should help you get started if you’re stuck.
1. Do I need to include a cover letter with my resume?
While a cover letter can be a time consuming task, it is always beneficial to include one – even if they job you’re applying for doesn’t require one. The cover letter is a great way to show an employer what you want them to know about you, without the hiring manager having to figure it our from your resume. Use it to your advantage, especially if you are applying in a job market that is really competitive.
2. Does my resume need to be on one page?
The main rule is that MOST of the time your resume should be one-page especially when you have just a few years of work experience or if you are just starting out on the job market. Your resume can be longer than one page only when you have 10+ years of experience or a lot of relevant professional achievements.
3. Should I include an “Objectives” section?
Years ago the answer would have been an overwhelming “yes” but now hiring managers are more focused on if you have the specific skills necessary to do the job correctly and well. Opening with a brief personal profile with 5-7 bullet points allows you to summarize your skills, experience, etc. but in a more direct and compact format.
4. Is it important to include volunteer work or my hobbies?
More and more employers are paying attention to work culture and how potential employees fit into that – volunteer work is important for that aspect, hobbies aren’t as much. Showing where you volunteer can give the employer a truer sense of you who are outside of the job which is absolutely a positive thing.
5. Do I need to include my references on my resume?
As a rule of thumb, you do not need to include the references when you are submitting your initial resume for a position. This of course changes if the job position explicitly states that they will want to speak with your references – then it would be appropriate to include them.