6 Tips for Creating a Job Resume

Creating a resume is an important process of getting a job. A poorly typed up one will get thrown in the trash a well written resume will get you a call for a job interview. To help understand common mistakes people make when creating a job resume and 6 tips for creating a resume, I have interviewed therapist Zita Nickeson.

Tell me a little bit about yourself.
“I have my Master’s degree in counseling education. Currently I have my own private practice specializing in sex therapy, relationship counseling (couples, family, etc) and individual counseling for 12 yrs and older. Throughout my experience, I have not only taught vocational skills, but I have also been on the ‘hiring end’ of the table, in the position advertising for open positions, accepting resumes, interviewing, etc. I have seen a number of great resumes as well as a number of poorly written resumes (some from very educated, experienced and capable individuals). A resume can get your foot in the door or, unfortunately, the door slammed in your face!”

What are common mistakes people make when creating a job resume?
“Some of the most common mistakes that I see are outdated resumes, lack of ‘pertinent skills’ and generally just the same information that is on an employers application. I have also seen pictures on resumes, personal interests, colored paper, and dates that give away a person’s age. These are all ‘no no’s’, and should be avoided. Another mistake that I have seen is a resume that is endless (ie more than 1-2 pages long)!!”

What are 6 tips you can give for creating a resume?
“The following are my 6 tips for creating a resume:
1. Write your resume by pretending to be in the potential employers shoes! If you are writing a resume that you would not want to read yourself, then do not expect others to want to spend much time looking at it.

2. Keep your resume to a minimum, no more than 2 pages. The economy has caused employers to be inundated with applications and resumes and being able to scan over a 1-2 page resume over a 3-5 page resume is much more preferable!

3. Keep your resume updated. Not only with your employment, but also in how you format your resume. There are various resume trends and these can be good, but ALWAYS keep readability in mind!

4. Always use light or white paper and allow for white to show through. Now a days, many employers need to fax, scan or copy resumes and having dark paper or light print will not allow for a resume to be faxed, scanned or copied. Also, thick paper stock can be nice, but again, if it needs to go through a fax machine, or a copier, it will cause the employer a problem. Hiring is a very timely and tiring process and employers dont want to have to deal with mechanical issues or malfunctions!

5. Never put your age on your resume, this also includes the year your graduated from high school. This is more for your own safety as the year your graduated from high school can give away your age. People graduate from high school generally between the ages of 17-19 and so if an employer wanted to know your age, they could do the math. College graduation is not so age specific (as people wait to start school, go back to school, etc) so that is fine to put down. Be aware of age discrimination…….it is rare, but I have seen it happen. This is also one reason to not put photos on your resume, although that trend died a while ago, I have seen some resumes with pictures and not only does that open up several potential “discrimination” issues, it also makes an potential employee seem a bit narcissistic.

6. Emphasize your strengths, your knowledge, your experience and your education, but you do not want to emphasize your personal interests (again opening up potential discrimination problems). Most employers don’t really care if you like to play racket ball with your kids, read on your spare time, or participate in weekend horseback riding activities. However, if you do have personal interests that directly pertain to the position that you’re applying for then include it on your resume.”

What type of professional help is available for someone who is having a hard time creating a job resume?
“Unfortunately, many people have to really seek out vocational assistance. Especially when they are in the process of looking for employment. However, a good place to start is the local state employment agency, if available. There are generally some vocational counselors that are there to help people find employment, create resumes, or if nothing else, point you in the right direction of finding that help.

Another great place to find vocational resources is local community colleges. Generally they have various programs that help individuals learn to write resumes and learn appropriate job hunting and interviewing skills. Last, but not least, if you are able to find a counselor in your community that does do vocational counseling, make sure they actually have experience teaching resume building and job hunting skills. Finding a career can be very difficult and it can have a hugely negative impact on your self esteem, so make sure that person can not only give you good information, but can also be very supportive!!”

Thank you Zita for doing the interview on 6 tips for creating a job resume. For more information on Zita Nickeson or her work you can check out her website on www.nwsexualcounseling.com

Recommended Readings:
How to Get the Job You Want
How to Reduce Work Performance Anxiety
How to Write a Cover Letter for a Job