This week’s resume news includes tips for new graduates and those 50 and older, plus findings relevant to job seekers of all ages.
This PayScale Career News blog post by Padmaja Ganeshan-Singh lists the six things recruiters focus on when scanning a resume, based on an eye-tracking study performed by TheLadders. They are:
- Most recent position and company
- Employment dates at most recent position
- Previous position and company
- Employment dates at previous position
A quick scan of this information can put people who have vague or quirky job titles at a disadvantage. In that case, she recommends using a more recognizable title. For example, “although you could be ‘Chief Evangelist of Code’ in your organization, the more appropriate but less flamboyant ‘Software Developer’ may be the title to put on your resume.”
If adjusting your title on your resume, be certain that you do not inflate your title. Another possibility is to list the title your workplace uses followed by the more widely-recognized equivalent in parentheses.
This Forbes blog post by Lisa Quast addresses what recent graduates—high school or college—should include on their resumes. The first thing new graduates should keep in mind is that paid experience is not the only kind that counts. “Volunteer work might not have been paid, but it is still useful experience to include on your resume….Include this information and your responsibilities and accomplishments on your resume in a section titled Community Service Experience or Volunteer Experience.”
You can also list leadership positions in student associations and activities, such as class treasurer or team captain. For each position, include details about your accomplishments. Internships, whether paid or unpaid, are another type of experience that new grads can list. You may not have extensive professional experience, but it’s important to create a resume that gives hiring managers a good sense of your achievements and your potential.
This HuffPost50 blog post by career counselor Mary Eileen Williams offers 10 pieces advice for job seekers 50 and older. Many of them pertain to resumes, as well as LinkedIn profiles, social networking profiles, and online portfolios. Namely:
- “Market yourself in strong, contemporary terms.” She recommends using job postings “as a primary research tool [to] identify the skill sets most requested.”
- “Speak to your strengths in a comprehensive manner.” This means highlighting three categories of skills: knowledge-based skills (such as how to use a particular software program), broad-based skills (such as prioritizing tasks effectively), and soft skills (such as the ability to motivate others).
- “Ensure that your written materials are eye-catching and pleasing to read.” Use bullet points instead of paragraphs, to avoid burying key details, and be generous with white space.
These pieces of advice are all worth heeding, no matter what your age.