When looking for information quickly, most people turn to Google to find what they need. The search engine receives over 8 billion search queries daily, and the average person uses Google at least three times per day. It’s a great resource to learn more about almost any topic, including refining your resume.
With billions of searches every day, Google uses an abundance of data to generate autocomplete predictions. These options are based on real searches that people submit, showing the most helpful and common queries to guide your search. We’ve gathered the top 10 most popular resume search queries, so you have all the answers in one place.
1. Does my resume need to be one page?
It depends. Hiring managers sift through several resumes a day to find the ideal candidate. A concise resume is the best way to grab that manager’s attention. It’s standard to keep your resume on one page that lists the most relevant information for the position you are applying for. However, if you have many years of experience, are in a specific industry, or are applying for a higher-level job, you might have a need to extend your resume to two pages. Yet even then, it’s crucial to have the most important information on the first page to ensure your qualifications don’t go unnoticed.
2. Should my resume include a photo?
No. In the United States, it is unusual to see someone’s headshot in their resume. Unless you work in an industry like acting or modeling, avoid adding a photo to your resume. Not only does a photo take up valuable space, it can also allow for unwanted bias in the hiring process. Employers reject nearly 90% of resumes that include a photo, so leave it to the words to highlight your experience.
3. Does my resume need to be tailored to the job I’m applying for?
Yes. Customizing your resume to a specific job is a smart way to increase your chances of landing an interview. If you aren’t already tailoring your resume, now is a great time to start. This doesn’t mean you must submit a completely different resume for each job you apply for. Rather, you should tweak your existing resume to reflect the right qualifications for the position. Use the job description to determine which parts of your resume to emphasize.
4. Should my resume include my GPA?
Probably not. While it is important to include your academic credentials on your resume, it is not necessary to include your GPA. If you are a recent graduate, including a notable GPA may be beneficial when applying to competitive entry-level positions. However, employers are more interested in your relevant skills. If you have limited experience, consider adding prominent projects or accomplishments that spotlight your academic success.
5. Should my resume include references?
No. Most employers won’t ask for references until later in the hiring process. Although they shouldn’t be listed in your resume, references should still be top of mind. Keep a list of three professional contacts at all times who can speak highly of your experience. This will make it easy for you once an employer requests them. Always ask your contacts for permission before listing them as a reference.
6. Does my resume need to be visually appealing?
Yes. Your resume should be scannable to make the best use of a hiring manager’s time. A visually appealing resume doesn’t have to be colorful or creative, but it should be carefully organized to achieve results. If you work in a creative industry, though, a colorful resume may work for you. On a basic level, keep fonts consistent, utilize bullet points, and incorporate white space to break up long blocks of text.
7. Does my resume need to be in a specific format?
It depends. There are three common resume formats: chronological, functional, and combination. The chronological format is the most common, which includes listing your experience from most to least recent. If you have similar experiences to the job you’re applying for, chronological is the way to go. A functional resume focuses on an applicant’s relevant skills. If you are going through a career change, a functional resume may be a good choice for you. A combination resume mixes the two formats to highlight both your employment history and applicable skills. Take a moment to evaluate your skillset to determine which format is right for you.
8. Does my resume need a cover letter?
Probably. In a competitive job market, a well-written cover letter can separate you from another strong candidate. Even if an application doesn’t require a cover letter, it’s never a bad idea to include one. It is an opportunity to show your genuine interest, elaborate on your resume contents, and explain why you are a good fit for the role.
9. Should my resume be in the past tense?
Yes, where applicable. As mentioned earlier, correct grammar is a must in resumes. If you’re not currently working a job, make sure your bullet points are in the past tense. For example, you wouldn’t want to say you write blogs at a position you had 5 years ago—say you wrote blogs instead. The only exception to this rule is when you list your current job on your resume. Those descriptions can be in the present tense.
10. Does my resume need to be error-free?
Absolutely! Typos and grammatical errors are top dealbreakers for hiring managers, no matter the industry. Imagine seeing a billboard with a spelling mistake—it reduces the credibility of the company and will likely drive away valuable business. The same goes for your resume! It is a marketing document promoting you, so it’s vital to proofread your resume for any corrections before hitting submit.
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