6 Resume Rules for 2017 That You May Not Know About

Resume Rules for 2017We’re only in the second week of the new year, so this is a great time to talk about resume rules for 2017. This time last year, readers talked about whether or not they apply to jobs when they don’t meet all the requirements (also see our imposter syndrome post), and a few years ago Kat answered a reader email about unusual ways to get your resume noticed.

Here are six resume rules for 2017 that you may not have heard:

1. Know that the “one page” limit no longer applies. Depending on your career and circumstances, it’s OK if your resume goes beyond a page. To figure out whether to make your resume one, two, or even three pages, check out these guidelines from Monster. No matter what, though, keep it concise — and make 100% sure there are no typos!

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Do You Still Apply When You Don’t Meet the Job Requirements?

Do You Still Apply When You Don't Meet the Job Requirements?Here’s a question, ladies: do you apply for a job if you don’t meet the listed job requirements? For those of you who do, is there a general number of percentage that you use as a goal (“if I meet at least 50% of the requirements, I’ll apply!”)? For those of you who’ve already gone ahead and gotten the job that you weren’t qualified for — share your success! How’d it go? Was there a learning curve, or did you hit the ground running?

I think often about The Confidence Code and their conclusion that “[u]nderqualified and underprepared men don’t think twice about leaning in. Overqualified and overprepared, too many women still hold back. . . . Women applied for a promotion only when they met 100 percent of the qualifications. Men applied when they met 50 percent.”  I mean, yow. I just recently passed a job listing along to a friend that, we both agreed, was a bit of a stretch for her — she joked that she’d like to work for whoever was hired for the position, and decided not to apply for other reasons.  But the job posting itself seemed a bit absurd to me — like someone just wrote down The Perfect Candidate — and I wondered, really, how many of the listed requirements, the ultimately-hired candidate would meet. Alison at Ask a Manager even notes that “[t]hose qualifications are a composite of someone’s idea of the ideal candidate. Believe me, they will look at people who don’t perfectly match it.” I agree with her that you have to do a bit of extra prep before applying, such as rewording your resume to better match some of the skill sets, or even signing up to take other courses or certifications so you can at least show that forward movement is planned.

Ladies, what are your thoughts — do you apply to jobs where you don’t meet the job requirements? Do you think imposter syndrome is behind this, or something else?   (Fun challenge idea (maybe): let’s all apply to one job (or volunteer position) for which we’re only 50% qualified sometime in the next 6 months, and all report back on how it goes.)

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How to Thank Your References

Steve's 80's Party, originally uploaded to Flickr by Bob. B. Brown.Reader C has a great question about thank yous to your references…

I’m anxiously awaiting a few job offers–and am wondering if a $100 gift card to a delicious local restaurant is an appropriate thank you for each of my references? (The potential offers are for healthcare-related opportunities–hospital positions and consulting gigs.) What have you done in the past?

I first misread this question as how to thank your interviewers. (No gift cards to interviewers!) I think this is a cute idea, but one that could be tweaked to make it even better:

Instead of gift cards, take your references to lunch. Ask their career advice, what they think your strong suits are heading into any new job (and, just for your ears, what they think your weaknesses might be!). Ask them how they got to where they are, what they might have done differently given the clarity of hindsight. And then… stay in touch with them. Tell them how you’re doing, ask them to lunch once a year or so and see how they’re doing. [Read more…]

Emergency Reader E-mail: How to Get Your Resume Noticed

How to Get Your Resume Noticed | CorporetteHow can you get your resume noticed? We have another emergency e-mail, this time from reader M, who wonders how to get her resume to stand out from the pack:

There is a job opening in a creative field that is right up my alley at a company I’m very passionate about. Among other things, this company is a bit offbeat and irreverent. I want to apply with a creative flourish but want your and readers’ advice as to whether this approach has the potential to backfire.

I truly think the people making the hiring decisions would really appreciate the novelty of a bold move: I could find their favorite lunch delivery spot and have my resume delivered along with their regular order. A bit off the wall but is that what it takes to distinguish yourself these days in this economy? I’d love to hear about your hiring/interviewing experiences for some guidance.

This is an interesting question, and I hope the readers can offer you some interesting feedback! For my own $.02, I’m normally against these kinds of gimicky things to get noticed because, in theory, your resume should speak the loudest. However, if the creative field has anything to do with getting people’s attention, your idea isn’t bad — it shows you’re resourceful (found their favorite lunch place), and determined to get their attention. (Although I might worry about your resume getting soiled by food stains or getting crinkly from steam… but that’s me.) [Read more…]

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