Career Advice >> Browse Articles >> Resume, Cover Letter & Interview Tips


Getting Confusing Resume Advice?

Getting Confusing Resume Advice?

But the reality is that when it comes to actually reviewing a candidate’s resume, a reasonable hiring manager isn’t going to reject a candidate because she used a san serif font even though the manager personally thinks a serif font is the smarter bet and recommends serif fonts to her job-hunting friends.

For instance, I hate resume objectives — hate them, preach against them, want to rid the world of them — but am I going to reject a candidate simply for having one? Of course not. Because everyone knows that there’s a huge variety of accepted practices in how you do your resume.

So what does this mean for you, as a candidate seeking advice on her resume? First, don’t take any of it as absolute dogma (unless there’s something that the 10 people are all in agreement on). Second, ask your resume reviewers why they’re giving a particular piece of advice. It’s much more helpful to hear their thought process than to just get random, conflicting rules thrown at you.

From there, make your own decisions. None of it is gospel, and any hiring manager who rejects a resume for not conforming precisely to her preferences is someone you don’t want to work for anyway. (It’s also not a mindset you’re likely to see much, or no one would ever get hired.)

That said, there are trends, conventions that are starting to gain majority support (although fewer of them than you’d think). For instance, in my experience, more hiring managers than not do think functional resumes are frustrating and possibly hiding something. And two pages has grown a lot more acceptable than it used to be, to the point that it’s really not an issue unless you’re dealing with someone very old-school.

But again, even these trends aren’t hard and fast rules.

The best you can do is get a feel for the types of things people care about and why and make choices that feel reasonable to you. Good luck!