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Job hunt: 10 common resume questions, answered
How long should a resume be? Should it list an objective? Here’s updated advice on resume do’s and don’ts for job hunters
6. Should I describe my previous employers?
Yes. “Alongside the names of companies you list as your current and previous employers, provide some contextual information to help the reader who hasn’t heard of the firms,” Doyle says. Consider mentioning the industry, annual revenues, number of employees, or number of locations (for a retailer, for example).
7. Should I include references and contact information?
Checking references remains an important part of the hiring process, but it’s the final step a potential employer takes before offering the job. Though it might make logical sense to offer this additional intel to screeners, the best practice is to leave references off the resume, says Rangel.
8. What information will help me stand out for IT leadership roles?
Just listing previous jobs and responsibilities is not going to do it, says Doyle. “Be sure to emphasize meaningful metrics (ROI) and business outcomes,” she advises. People skills are equally important to highlight. “For IT leadership resumes and resumes for aspiring leaders, it is important to include achievements related to successfully collaborating with other non-IT departments, attracting external talent, and developing internal talent,” says Rangel.
9. Do I need to write a cover letter?
If a job opening specifically asks for a cover letter, definitely write one. However, it’s not always necessary, according to Rangel. Cover letter or no, it’s important that your resume does the heavy lifting. “[It] should not be dependent on a cover letter,” Rangel says. “The resume should be able to stand on its own and tell most of your story and what job you seek.”
[ How can you make your cover letter shine? Read also: How to write an IT cover letter: 8 tips. ]
10. How often should I update my resume?
Naturally, it’s important to perform a quick resume refresh if you hear about an interesting opportunity or get an unexpected call from a recruiter. But even when you’re not actively pursuing new opportunities, it makes sense to keep it current. Review your resume at least once a year to make sure it includes your most recent accomplishments and there will be less work to do during your next job search.
[ Arm yourself for IT job interviews with winning tactics and relevant data. Get the free eBook: IT job searching in 2019: A practical guide. ]