“Your Questions, Resume Genius’ Answers”
We’ve pooled all of the most common resume, interview, and career related questions here. If we’ve missed anything, please ask your question in the comments! We’ll be happy to answer it.
This Questions & Answers page has been broken down into 3 sections: Resumes, Interviews and Careers. All questions are answered by Resume Genius’ staff of professional resume writers, career coaches and former HR professionals. Find the answers to the questions you’re looking for now!
Q. How do I make a resume?
A. There are many ways to make a resume. Most commonly, people will use Microsoft Word to write their resumes. You’ll need to know how to format the text with proper margins, fonts, and font sizes.
Alternatively, you can save time by using a resume builder like Resume Genius, which will help you automatically write and format your resume in professional manner.
If you aren’t sure about common resume writing practices, please read this information about how to format your resume.
Q. How do I make a free resume?
A. Resume Genius is a free resume builder. It will generate all of the information and text for you automatically with a small amount of input. You can export this information into a .txt file for free. However, there is a charge to export into .doc or .pdf.
Nonetheless, we provide a powerful resource and help you generate solid resume content at no cost at all.
Q. What skills should I put in my resume?
A. Every section of your resume should be specifically targeted towards the company you want to join. This includes the Additional Skills section of your resume. Here are two examples of what you shouldn’t include, and the reason why:
- If you’re interested in becoming a waiter, your ability to use software like Microsoft Word is irrelevant – so don’t include it.
- If you’re interested in becoming a secretary, your ability to carry 20 pound serving platter over your shoulder is also irrelevant – so don’t include it.
You’ll need to think carefully about what skills you have that are relevant to the job you’re applying for. However, we have included a list here of “general” skills that companies are looking for. Ideally, you’ll want to replace these with more specific examples.
Click this link to read about these general skills you can include.
Q. I don’t know what my resume should look like. Are there any resume samples I can look through?
A. We provide a section on our website for people to look through various industry resumes. Remember, these are only for inspiration, ideas, and guidance, and cannot be used as a substitute for your resume.
Modify them to match your own work experience!
Q. I need help correcting my resume! Can someone please critique my resume?!
A. This page is dedicated to visitors like you who would like to have their resumes critiqued. Simply leave a comment on this page with an image of your resume, and we’ll happily take a glance and make some comments on it.
Alternatively, we have found that the community at http://reddit.com/r/resumes is extremely helpful and willing to lend a hand to those in need.
Q. How do I write a resume with no job experience?
A. Every single one of us didn’t have any job experience at some point. The key is to be realistic about your expectations for employment. For many entry-level retail and food service jobs you won’t even need a formal resume and instead only be expected to complete a generic application.
For other positions that require a resume don’t worry, because writing a concise one-page resume is actually a positive thing. Without much experience focus on your educational section to fill the body of the resume. Including a targeted career objective in addition to additional skills should easily fill up a single page. Also, don’t forget to include any part-time work and volunteer experience.
Q. Should I write a personal statement on my resume?
A. No, you should not! Recruiters are interested in your work experience, accomplishments, and skills. That is the information that really speaks to who you are, and what abilities you have.
Q. Should I include my picture in my resume?
A. You should absolutely not include a picture, unless you are an actor. Then you’ll need to include a headshot.
Q. Can I include images in my resume?
A. Do not include any images. It will make your resume look unprofessional, and also make it difficult for Applicant Tracking Software to read your resume.
Q. How do I write a Career Objective?
A. Career Objectives are a very common way to target any resume to a specific industry and position and make yourself seem like a custom fit for the position. Writing a Career Objective is as simple as reverse engineering the job description while mentioning your own experiences all in just a couple of sentences at the top of the resume, following the contact details.
For example, if the job posting reads: “Seeking an enthusiastic addition to our customer service department to manage and help grow our North American operations”then a good Career Objective to write for a resume being sent to this position might read: “Experienced customer service professional with 8 years of industry experience seeking position to exercise management talent with high growth potential”.
*Remember, keep your Career Objective short, concise, and targeted to optimize its benefits. Never use the same Career Objective for multiple job applications, this could indicate that you are lazy, sloppy and unmotivated.
Q. Why haven’t I heard anything back from the jobs I applied to?
A. There are several reasons:
- Your resume is unprofessional
- They already filled the position
- You are under-qualified
- You are over-qualified
- The company’s strategy has changed and they are no longer hiring
- The company is simply slow to action
- They are waiting for a larger pool of candidates to choose from
- You are being discriminated against
If you are consistently not hearing responses from employers, it’s probably because your resume is unprofessional. If your resume is professional, you may be applying for positions that you are not qualified for. If you are qualified, you may be suffering from discrimination of some sort – especially age discrimination.
Learn more about age discrimination law and what to do here.
Q. Is it possible to get a job if your work experience is weak?
A. Yes, it is possible. Resume consultants frequently say that your resume needs to clearly express your achievements. But what if you joined a company that had performed poorly thanks to external circumstances, and therefore left little room for you to achieve anything?
Don’t worry. So long as you’re able to use your resume to communicate that you have the basic skills necessary to succeed, you will be fine. Your cover letter is another key aspect to convincing the hiring manager that you have what it takes to succeed in the position they are looking to fill.
Q. Will listing Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) on your resume help you get a job?
A. MOOCs are still in their baby stages, so there are those who would say “yes” and others who would say “no.” At Resume Genius, we advocate including this information if you feel that it is relevant to the job description posted by the hiring manager.
We’ve heard of candidates applying for jobs related to coding and data analysis that including a MOOC class impressed the hiring manager, as it gave them a base of understanding that other candidates did not have.
Other industries, or companies, may not be as impressed. Definitely do not include MOOC courses unrelated to the company you’re applying for. Your resume is not supposed to be a list of accomplishments; it’s a document selling your ability to do a specific job.