Less Is More - Entry Level Resume Advice
With an increasing number of employers looking for candidates with very little job experience, there are important changes you may want to make to your resume. Employers have legitimate reasons to look for more entry level candidates. Companies with a comprehensive training program prefer people who haven’t been trained (or at least not much) by someone else’s training program. Like babies changing significantly in terms of habits and thought processes due to nurture as they age, people tend to build habits over the years based on the methodologies they have learned through their employers’ training processes.
Many studies have shown that statistically, hiring managers and recruiters only spend six seconds on your resume. That’s why it’s important your resume represents who you are, your skills, qualifications and experience in the most clear cut way possible.
Of course, many candidates have a significant amount of experience and are still extremely (sometimes more) employable. However, if you are a skilled candidate, there is a good chance you don’t belong in the entry level pool. Being 'overqualified' is certainly not a bad thing, but if you are you need to be looking at higher level openings.
Only include relevant experience on your resume.Did you intern at a deli shop during college, or work for the local bookstore during high school, but are now applying to a business development position selling software to companies? Leave it off your resume. It isn't relevant, wouldn't have affected your habits to a point where it would label you already set in your methodologies’ and yet those years listed are screwing up your entry level status. If you graduated college two years ago, and have two years of sales experience you are probably a very in demand candidate for an entry level business development role. However, those years of irrelevant part time experience are not only interfering with the amount of experience noticed during the famous ‘six second scan’, but they also affect where you are categorized on job boards. The algorithms involved typically can't differentiate what would be applicable in this type of situation. Yes, you read this correctly. Including this on your resume could be getting you overlooked or rejected when you may actually be perfect for the role of your dreams.
Don’t include extremely short experience.If you have exhibited longevity in the past, yet have a three month stint at a certain role with a very good reason for that short duration, you are better off leaving that off your resume and getting the chance to explain yourself through whichever method of communication when you go through the interview channels with the recruiter/employer. You don’t want to be labeled a ‘job hopper’ especially if you do have a history of longevity and reliability. Just remember to be honest when the conversation with the recruiter happens. If you ever leave your past/present/future employer one of the best things you can leave with is a letter of recommendation.
Keep your resume short.If your resume is more than two pages, particularly if you are a candidate with less than five years of experience, you want to double check your resume and see if you really need to have that much information. Paradoxically, you don’t want your resume too short. In addition to the dates you worked at from each employer (yes, these are necessary and draw suspicion if completely left off) as well as the duties that encompassed the role, you should include any achievements or awards as well as a sentence or two about the company and what they do.