Most of the candidates we interview are recent graduates and they got their Resume advice from their school’s career center. It almost always goes like:
- Keep your Resume to 1 page
- Always list your Education first
- List your school projects and classes
Granted schools are very expensive and they would like to make sure they relay the message that they are the reasons you are employed which may or may not be true.
If you have NO experience, please listen to your school’s advice. I highly suggest adding GPA and extracurricular activities, volunteer work etc as well. You are competing with other new graduates and you want to shine with additional details.
However if you have some experience before or during your education you are now competing with other entry level/junior candidates and you need to highlight your work experience.
Hands on work experience is invaluable and companies would like to see that more than your education credentials, because once you get your first job education details become obsolete, as you do not list your high school graduation information and sports you played in your Resume, you will no longer list details of your education except for the degree you obtained.
So for candidates that have experience:
- Depending on the years of experience you have your Resume may exceed 1 page
- If you have 0-5 years of experience keep it to 2 pages
- If you have over 5 years of experience you may consider going over 2 pages if needed
- Do not make Education the first thing on your Resume, again just like your high school degree your college/graduate school degree is no longer the last accomplishment you have. You went to school to get a job and your focus should always be on real time work experience
- Remove all school related projects, classes, software that you only saw at school
Experienced candidates should provide detailed task information in their Resume, these tasks should address:
- What was your task?
- How did you accomplish it?
- What tools did you use?
- What was your deliverable at the end?
Think about your roles and responsibilities before putting them on paper and make them clear. If your Resume does not indicate what you have done and what your skills are, you may not get a call back.
Remember a Resume is a live document, update as needed or as you know more about Resume writing. Show it to friends and family and get their feedback and see if they understand your experience and skills clearly.