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On February 24th, 2017

There is No Perfect Resume: Finding What Works for You

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If you’ve ever asked others for advice while updating your resume, you’ve surely heard differing opinions on what you should and shouldn’t include, how to phrase things, the font, the style, the length, and everything else imaginable. These answers are all correct and yet incorrect too. The truth is, there is no perfect, one-size-fits-all formula for creating a resume – everyone’s resume is different. It is shaped by your experience, skills, profession, accomplishments, goals, and more.

Resume Length

This is the age-old question: How long should your resume be? Obviously a new graduate just emerging in the workforce is going to have much less experience and fewer accomplishments to highlight on their resume than a senior executive who has been working in the field for 30 years and climbed the corporate ladder. And then there is everyone in between.

If you can effectively fit everything on one page while doing yourself and your experience justice, that’s great. However, going onto a second page is not a kiss of death – though more than three pages usually is. Most people find that two pages is sufficient for hitting key points and demonstrating their abilities to a potential employer; senior execs may need three.

Resume Order

Should education go first? Experience? Skills? Once again, it depends on the person. If you’ve recently completed a new degree and are looking to break into the industry or shift roles, starting off with your education is a good idea. It shows employers that you were recently trained and have up-to-date knowledge but not a ton of experience yet. On the other hand, if you’ve been working in the field for several years, relevant experience should go higher than your education because you’re actually putting those skills to use in real-world situations. The fact that you have your degree in accounting isn’t as impressive as what you’ve been able to achieve with these skills.

Resume Style

Resume formats vary greatly, but that’s okay. You don’t want your resume to be a carbon copy of everyone else’s. The style used by a graphic designer won’t be exactly the same as someone applying for a job as a lawyer; the industries and audiences are completely different. While you don’t want to go too crazy, font choice and style are something customizable to your resume and personal preference. Just ensure that it looks professional and reads well. There is no rule that every resume must be written in Times New Roman.

Find What Works for You

Take the advice you receive from others with a grain of salt and figure out what works best for you, your experience, and the type of role you are pursuing. Customize your resume to a style that fits with your accomplishments and skills and presents you in a positive light. Grammar Chic can help you find a suitable format and revamp your resume so that it makes more sense and demonstrates all that you have to offer. Contact us today at (803) 831-7444 or resumewriting@grammarchic.net.

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