Job Seekers: What to Skip on a Resume

You, the job seeker, may have a lot of experience, but that doesn’t mean your life story should be told through a resume. Controller’s Group, Inc. knows resumes, and we can help you with yours.

Work Experience Best-Practices

Resume best-practices have changed over the years. There are several old-school tactics that aren’t necessary in the modern job seeker’s world.

Below is a list of a few things you should reconsider when writing a resume:

  • An Objective: General resume objectives aren’t going to get a potential employer’s attention. They probably read 100+ resumes throughout their job search, and your generic objective isn’t going to be any better than the one on the resume before yours. Instead, you should include a resume summary, which should tell the employer something unique about who you are and what value you’ll bring to the job.
  • Your complete address: It used to be standard to include your complete address on a resume. Today, it’s not necessary for the employer to know your full mailing address. Instead, only include your city, state, email address, and phone number.
  • A stone-aged email address: The days of Yahoo mail and AOL are long gone. If you still have an email address hosted by these email providers, take the plunge and get an updated email account. Today, Gmail is the most popular.
  • Insignificant jobs from 10+ years ago: You shouldn’t treat your resume like an autobiography. A potential employer doesn’t need to know your life story regarding every job you’ve ever had. Unless something you did 10 or more years ago is vital to the target employer, leave it off.

What Skills to Highlight on a Resume

Skills to include on your resume can be general, concise adjectives that describe your work ethic and relevant experience. Consider this set of skills to be your soft skills or personal attributes that tell the value you’ll bring to the company if considered for the position.

Some of the most common examples of soft skills include:

  • Problem-solving
  • Critical thinking
  • Flexibility
  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Organization

A set of hard skills, or more technical, industry-specific skills, should also be included on your resume. Typically, a job posting will list hard skills that a potential candidate must have to be considered for the position.

Some examples of hard skills related to accounting include:

  • Proficiency in using accounting software
  • Preparation and interpretation of financial reports
  • Developing efficient financial reporting methods
  • Collaborating with regulators and external auditors
  • Remaining current on changes in industry regulations
  • Adhering to regulations, procedures, and practices

You should also customize your resume to align with the required soft and hard skills listed on the job description, but we’ll discuss that later in this blog.

Ideal Length of a Resume

Business owners stick to a tight schedule. On top of being a part of the hiring process, they have to continue to run daily business operations. That means you only have a few seconds for your resume to catch their attention, so limiting the number of pages down to one is ideal, especially for students and professionals with one to 10 years of experience.

If you are a more experienced job seeker, it’s acceptable to have a multi-page resume, but you should limit it to no more than two to three pages.

List of Skills and Experience

Let’s set the scene: you’re pursuing job postings, hoping to find one that’s just right for you. After several minutes of searching, you notice your qualifications don’t match the employer’s ideal candidate requirements. Don’t be discouraged if this is happening to you. It doesn’t mean you wouldn’t be a good fit for the company; it just means your list of skills needs some refreshing.

It’s never too late to learn a new skill, no matter what field of work you’re in. On the off-days, when you’re not applying for new positions, learn a new skill that will boost your work experience on your resume. It doesn’t matter that you didn’t learn a key skill “on the job.” In reality, it shows some motivation if you take the time to learn something new on your own rather than as a part of your routine job training. Employers look for initiative and a desire to grow — two things you’ll prove you have if you learn a new skill on your own.

Relevant Experience: Customize Your Resume for Every Application

No matter how long your resume is, you should only include your most relevant experiences and skills that best relate to the job you’re applying for. You may find it impressive that you have experience in administrative work. Still, a specific type of company, such as an accounting firm, may not be looking for a candidate with that experience. That doesn’t mean your administration experience isn’t something to be proud of, but having skills in financial reporting and analysis may impress the employer more than experience in administrative work.

Matching your skills and experience to the job your applying for also means you should tailor your resume to fit the job posting requirements. Sending out one resume that reflects one set of skills and experiences isn’t going to land you the interview, but taking the time to align your list of skills with what’s expected of the chosen candidate just might do the trick.

Start looking back at your work experience and find examples of how you made a difference in your prior work settings. Aim to elaborate on specific skills that speak to how you could immediately make a positive impact in the new role.

Write a Resume With Controller’s Group, Inc.

Controller’s Group, Inc. specializes in helping job seekers in the accounting and finance industry land their next role. We can help you stand out during an interview, offer interview advice, and assist you in sprucing up your resume. Contact us today to get started on your next job-seeking journey.

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