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It’s 2019 – Do I Really Need A Resume?

Woman at a job interview.

We know that one of life’s biggest stressors is finding a new job. With that big task comes resume anxiety and the question: “Do I need a resume for entry-level jobs?”

How do I write a resume without any work history? What if my work history is not related to the job that I am applying to? The short answer to this is yes, resumes are required for most jobs.

Let’s take a look into what employers are looking for in a resume.

Contact Details:

First and foremost, a resume is a contact card that you can hand out, physically or electronically, to as many employers as you want. This allows employers to contact you after receiving your resume. This is the most important part of your resume.

Here is what you should include in the contact section:

  • First and last name
  • Phone number
  • E-mail address
  • Physical address

Objective:

This section is not mandatory; however listing your main career objective allows the employer to see how you could fit into the company long term. For example, someone looking for a position where you can learn, grow and develop is different than someone looking to try out a new industry or someone looking for a job over the summer. Each type of objective has their perks and their deterrents: it’s up to you if you want to put that on your resume or save that discussion for your interview.

Education:

When it comes to education, it depends on the industry that you are applying to – some positions have a requirement of a certain level of education while others are more open. If you graduated from secondary or post-secondary school you should always include that in your resume. Even if the diploma or degree does not relate to the position, completing secondary or post-secondary school shows that you can commit to and achieve a goal.

Work Experience / Skills:

If you don’t have experience in the field that you are applying, you should still include your past work history including dates.

This allows an employer to see:

  • How long you typically stay with a job
  • The type of work that you are used to doing
  • Any skills that might overlap in the position that they are hiring for

If you don’t have any work experience at all, you should mention:

  • Volunteer experience
  • Clubs/Arts
  • Sports
  • Or any other activity where you gained transferrable skills, including:
    • Communication
    • Leadership
    • Organization
    • Teamwork
    • Dedication

Does the format matter?

For a physical resume, as long as it is easy to read and it highlights your skills/experience, then the format does not matter. Try to keep it between 1 – 2 pages so that it is easy for the employer to read.

This is not the case for electronic resumes: a lot of employers keep their resumes in a tracking system that allows them to find key words in your resume that match the skill set that they are looking for. This happens most often with large companies that do mass hiring. Typically, a Microsoft Word document or an editable PDF are preferred when it comes to electronic resumes.

How long should I spend creating a resume?

For most people, it should only take about 30 minutes to create a strong resume. If you are looking for a specific job in a specific field, try to highlight skills related to that field. If you are open to different types of work, try to highlight skills that are transferrable between different industries (teamwork, organization, dependable, leadership, etc.).

For more information about building a strong resume during your job search, speak with the job search specialists at ABL Employment.

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