Resume FAQs

Answers to Important Resume Questions

Here are the answers to some of the top-asked questions about writing a resume: 

1.  How long should my resume be?

You've probably heard "no longer than one page because that is all an employer will take time to read."  Does that sound familiar?  This is not necessarily true.  The secret is to include all pertinent information relating to the job you are seeking.  Employers do scan a resume looking for key words that match the requirements for the position they are seeking to fill.  Most employers, however, will keep scanning as long as you are brief, to the point, and look like a good candidate to bring in for an interview.  Let your experience and skills be your guide.  Remember:  you are just peaking interest to try to get an interview. 

2.  What format should I use for my resume?

FutureLink Online has a Resume Manager that allows an individual to select from several different resume formats.  The format you use should be based on your strengths and how you want to accent them.  Several things to consider are:

  • WHO is reading your resume.  While unique, flashy, or different resumes may appeal to some employers, more traditional employers may frown upon such formats. 
  • Organize your strengths, skills, and education clearly and concisely with ANY format you choose.
  • Good grammar and spelling are a must.  NO TYPO'S
  • If your resume is folded , wrinkled or crinkled, wrap your leftovers in it; don't mail it out as a resume.

3.  Do I include a job objective, a job summary, or both on my resume?

In the past, the purpose of the job objective was to identify what type of position the applicant was seeking.  Many objectives were vague and did little more than say "I want a job".  Employers already knew that when they received the resume! 

Resume experts advise that if an individual wants to include a job objective, it should be tailored specifically to that particular job.  Refrain from using a too narrow or too broad objective that could eliminate you from consideration.

Many applicants are now using a Job Summary instead of a Job Objective.  It consists of a couple of key sentences that highlight strengths and/or education.  It should not be an elaborate, lengthy paragraph.  Its purpose is to accentuate the skills you have that match those required for the job vacancy.

If you lack employment experience or skills, you may choose to omit either of these section from your resume.

4.  Should I put my salary requirements on my resume?

Do not list salary or salary history on a resume.  Even if you are asked to provide salary requirements, include them in your cover letter and only give a range such as mid 70s or low 80s, etc., so that you do not over or understate your expectations.

5.  Is it a good idea to include hobbies, activities, and personal information so that employers see "the real me"?

Hobbies, extracurricular activities, and personal information are normally omitted on today's resumes.  If they are directly related to the job opening, however, they can enhance your image and, in this case, they should be included.  Also, do your homework and research the company.  If you are applying for a company that is very involved in the community with corporate cup competitions, fundraising, etc. then it may also be advantageous to include such involvement on your resume.

6.  Which should I list first on my resume:  my education or my job experience?

Depending on your past work experience and your acquired education, you should choose a resume format that emphasizes your strongest qualifications.  If you have limited work history, begin with your education as your primary focus.  Include your grade point average if it is above 3.0 as well as any honors you received.

If your work history is your strong point and education is secondary, list Employment Experience first.  Emphasize experience in a particular area, stressing your results or achievements. 

7.  What about including References Available Upon Request at the end of my resume?

In the past it was common to find References Upon Request listed at the end of an applicant's resume.  Today, however, it is inferred without actually stating it on the resume.  Many applicants leave a copy of their references with an employer when they actually are called for an interview.  It is also in good taste to not impose on your references by sending out resumes with their contact information unless you are actually interested in the position and have been called for an interview.