Just like many of us, you’ve probably held many jobs over time. If you were to include each position on your resume, it would probably stand to be three or more pages long.
As a potential candidate, you may feel the need to list your entire work history from beginning to end, however long that may be. Although it may seem a little odd or bizarre to include an unrelated positions from over 25 years ago, we can tell you that it’s actually not that uncommon to witness something like this. We see it almost every day.
Many people believe that they must include each involvement on their resumes, but we can assure you that it’s not necessary. We would recommend that you only go as far back as ten years unless you’ve held the same position for over 10 years. The central focus of your resume should be to impress the reader with qualifications that are specific to the position that you are applying for. The reader will most likely be interested in your most recent work history, and may be indifferent to your work history from over ten years ago.
The greater part of your resume should be dedicated to the most recent and relevant positions. There is no need to include everything from each position you’ve held, and writing about too much can sometimes distract the reader from your real qualifications. If you happen to have an extensive work history, try focusing on the most recent and impactful aspects of the position.
Once you have decided on valuable information that you would like to keep on your resume. Formatting your resume is the next step. We’ve put together four useful tips to help your resume stand out.
1 – Standard Fonts. Be sure to maintain a consistent font choice throughout the resume. Unless you have typography experience, avoid using multiple fonts. Stick with the classics such as Times New Roman, Helvetica and Arial. If you wander too far away from standard fonts, you risk your resume file becoming unreadable upon opening.
2 – Avoid Generic Templates. When you use generic templates, chances are other candidates have chosen the exact same template for their resume. This makes the reader less likely to want to read your resume because it looks exactly like the other hundred on their desk. We also would like to advise you to avoid from making your resume too elaborate, as it can also be distracting.
3 – No Clip Art. As we mentioned previously, you may want to make an elaborate resume to avoid having the same template as others by adding images or designs to your resume through Clip Art or Photoshop. Although your resume may look inviting on screen, it runs the risk of not showing up that way when the reader prints it out. (The Golden rule: Be creative in when applying to a creative position). Just as you would tailor your work history to meet the requirements of the position, you should do the same for resume formatting.
4 –Vital information should be highly visible. Bold and Italics should be used sparingly. Bolding should be used to highlight valuable credentials and specific experience, while italics should be used to emphasize keywords. For font size, remember to keep the size between 10 and 12 (depending upon the font). If the position requires you to submit your resume in a text-only file, avoid the use of Bold and Italics. Including any formatting in a text-only file will result in your resume being unreadable.
Just remember that when you send your resume out, it must speak for you. Make sure that you read over the job requirements and that your resume reflects relevant experience. Focus on what the recruiter wants to see and not on how much information you can pack on your resume. Invest the time to make your resume stand out and you will see results.