Most Common Resume Questions Answered
BestColleges asked experts to answer the most frequently asked questions about resumes.
- Many job seekers run into questions when writing their resumes.
- We asked experts to answer the most frequently asked questions.
- Questions cover topics like resume length, using color, and formatting bullet points.
It should come as no surprise that "How do you write a resume?" is a frequent search on Google. Unless you're an expert, resumes can be tricky.
Sooner or later, you'll probably be asking questions like: How many pages should my resume be? Should I use color? How many bullet points do I need?
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Of course, it's important to get it right. Employers often choose whether to offer a candidate a job interview based on the strength of their resume.
We're here to help. We compiled the most common resume questions and sent them to our expert network.
More than 160 career experts, employers, and hiring managers responded. Here are the top answers to the most common resume questions.
How long should a resume be?
A resume should be no more than two pages. Most hiring managers recommend one page if you can manage it. Lulu Albanna, the co-founder of WRC Media, says the objective is brevity. You don't need to write your full life story — just a concise summary of your relevant experience.
Does it matter how your resume looks?
A resume doesn't necessarily have to be pretty or colorful. But it does need to be organized and easy to read. Steve Scott, CTO of Spreadsheet Planet, says a hiring manager might ignore your resume if it has an overcomplicated layout, typeface, and style.
Is it bad to have a spelling error on a resume?
A single typo is not a deal-breaker. But several typos can work against you. Gergo Vari, CEO and founder of Lensa, says multiple typos on a resume make him question whether an applicant is detail-oriented and can represent his company well.
Is it OK to leave jobs off your resume?
Yes, especially if the job is irrelevant to the position you're applying for. But keep in mind that you may need to explain gaps on your resume during a job interview. Daniel Lorenzo, marketing director at Let's Eat, Grandma, recommends removing a job only if you have something else to cover the gap it will leave. You can also downplay the job by giving it fewer bullet points.
How many jobs should you list on a resume? / How many jobs on a resume are too many? / Should you list all your jobs on a resume?
Employers recommend listing three to five relevant jobs on a resume. Including more than five jobs might be considered too many for a resume. If you don't have much work experience yet, just include what you have. But if you have a lot of work experience, you can drop the jobs that aren't relevant.
What type of resume do employers want?
Employers prefer a chronological resume format in 2022. A chronological resume typically includes (from top to bottom): your contact information, a professional summary, job history (newest to oldest), skills, and education.
What should you avoid on a resume?
Hiring managers don't want to see paragraphs, pictures, or unreadable fonts. The simpler, the better. Devon Fata, CEO of Pixoul, says it's best to stick with clear, easy-to-read bullet points and straightforward templates rather than flashy designs.
What are red flags on a resume?
Red flags on a resume that employers look for include:
- Multiple typos
- An unprofessional email address (such as a weird nickname)
- Unusually long employment gaps
- A selfie as your profile photo
- Frequent job-hopping (jumping from one company to the next every few months)
- Exaggerated skills and experience
Should I put a job on my resume if I was fired?
A job essential to your career development probably needs to be a part of your resume even if you left that job under less-than-ideal circumstances. But the answer can depend on the circumstances. Carter Seuthe, vice president of content at Credit Summit, says the reason(s) for your firing, how you made your exit, and if it led to personal growth also matter.
Is it OK to use color in your resume?
Yes, as long as you don't overdo it. A splash of color can make your resume look elegant and easier to read. But too much use of color can overwhelm the eye. Daniel Lorenzo, marketing director at Let's Eat, Grandma, recommends sticking to just one or two subtle colors for your headings and design elements.
How many bullet points should be under each job on a resume?
Bullet points on a resume should be a minimum of two and a maximum of six. Each point should be one to two lines long. Christa Reed, head of job market research at JobSearcher, believes you should generally aim for two to three bullet points per job. Any more than could make your resume look cluttered and difficult to read.
The Student's Guide to Resumes and Cover Letters
How to Write a Resume
BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.
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