the eternal resume debates

Since I read a billion resumes every week, I spend a lot of time thinking about common debates in the Human Resources/Recruiting world.

  • Objective or no objective: I don’t have one, but I am considering adding one. I like them if they are done correctly. Don’t apply to a social commerce company and tell me you’re interested in agriculture! I like ones that use strong words like “proactive” and “passionate.” Phrases like “hard worker” and “follow instructions” mean nothing to me.
  • WPM: I think it’s odd to include this for a position other than Executive Assistant/Administrative Assistant/Office Assistant, etc
  • Salary range requested: I’m interested in knowing others’ opinions on this. Some companies mandate it, but unless they do, I generally think too forward to mention it in your cover letter.
  • Education: Where do you list it? I’ve always put it on the top of my resume, but I often see it at the bottom. I don’t have a strong opinion on this.
  • Acknowledging that you aren’t a “traditional fit”: I respect this. When someone has a resume that doesn’t directly fit the job description, I like reading their reason for applying in their cover letter as long as it doesn’t sound defensive.
  • Mention of employment gaps: I generally say wait until the potential employer brings it up. Red flags go up when I see explanations that sound like excuses or playing the victim.
  • Writing in 3rd person: Against.
  • *EDITED: “Looking for a position where I can advance quickly”: I feel like writing this in your objective is at best, unnecessary, and at worst, presumptuous. I mean, who isn’t looking to advance quickly in their career?
  • *EDITED: One-page vs longer: I forgot to include this in my original post! This is actually the issue I’m most interested in. I’ve always kept my resume to one page, but more and more, I’m seeing longer ones. What do you think? What is the maximum? I’ve seen five page ones, way too long in my opinion!

What are your opinions of debates above? I would be interested to see if there is a difference of opinion based on industry, generation, education level, etc. 

*As always, my blog posts represent solely my own views, not those of my employer.

P.S. I just created a Career Development category, so check it out for my musings on job hunting, networking, resume writing, applying to jobs, etc.
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