How to write a better resume #2

Back for round 2 of the most common resume questions I am asked! Be sure to check out FAQ #1 and FAQ #3 as well for more answers and an intro to the series!

Remember I am currently creating a resume-writing course that will help you write your best resumes and get more interviews! If you have anything specific you’d like me to cover, email me or comment on this post and let me know what it is!

Can you include internships under work experience in your resume?

Absolutely! That is what internships are for!

As long as you note that it is an internship and not a full position, there's absolutely no problem. In fact, I recommend young people get internships, because that's how you get experience and networking contacts in your industry.

Why am I not getting any interview calls yet despite applying for several jobs in a day and having a good resume?

If you are not getting calls for interviews, the problem lies in your resume, even if you think you might have a good one. If it was really as great as you might think, recruiters would be calling you.

* Are you customizing your resume for each job you apply to?
* Are you making sure to use key words from the job posting to get past Applicant Tracking Systems?
* Are you only including relevant items on each resume? (Recruiters only spend 6 seconds looking at your resume to determine if you are a yes or a no-is your best and most relevant info being drowned by fluff?)
* Are you using powerful action words and qualifying your results with numbers?
* Is your resume laid out neatly, in a well-organized manner?

Also, if you're saying you are applying to several jobs in a day, that tells me you are not pre-qualifying yourself and are just shooting out your resume blindly. This won't get you anywhere, as you've seen. It is much better to target jobs you are actually qualified for, write killer (customized) cover letters for each one, and apply only when its really a good fit.

I've created a small side consulting business. Should I include in my resume when looking for a new job?

Only if it is relevant to the position you are applying for. If it has nothing to do with the position, then leave it off. Recruiters on average only spend 6 seconds looking at a resume before deciding if its a yes or no. If you are crowding it with things that have nothing to do with the job, they will probably miss the important and relevant items.
It could be indirectly relevant as well. Let's say your consulting business is about technology, but you are applying for a business management role. The technology part of your consulting is not relevant, but the things you've learned and done with managing that consulting business are. In that case, I would list it and focus on the pieces that match up with the job posting.
The more you can match the description, the better your chances.

Should photos be included in a resume?

No. Recruiters don’t like it because it is distracting, and takes their attention away from your skills, which should be the focus. You don’t want anyone judging you based on your looks, which will happen if you put your picture on your resume. Besides, if you really are a top candidate, you can bet that the recruiter will be looking you up on LinkedIn and Facebook anyways, and they will see your picture there.

Will it hurt my resume to start looking for a new job within a year of being at a company?

As a general rule, everyone is “allowed” one quick job hop on their resume without it looking like a trend. There are always valid reasons for someone to leave a job within a year or two (moving, the company is doing very poorly, its just not the right fit, etc.) Doing this more than one time though can make a recruiter question your commitment and work ethic, so if this is your second time searching within a year (preferably 2), I’d stick it out unless something is seriously wrong with your current workplace.

Alyssa Johnson