5 Tips for Listing Education on Your Resume

When you decide to rewrite your resume, you need to consider the different sections to include, which information that needs to be addressed, and how to position your education within the document. Whether you have a high school education, three college degrees, or have attended workshops that align with your future career goals, it is important to know how to list education on your resume. Check out the tips below for the best ways to highlight your training and educational experiences.

Tip #1 – List education after job history. I typically place education after professional experience UNLESS the person graduated within the last few months and has ZERO professional experience. For the most part, after you have worked for a couple of years, your experience outweighs your education.

Tip #2 – If you didn’t graduate from college, you can still list the experience—without listing the degree. For example, if you attended two years of college for business, but didn’t graduate, you could list it as follows: Business Administration Coursework – ABC University.

Tip #3 – You do NOT need to include your graduation year. This is true no matter if you graduated high school, college, or attended 10 workshops. At some point, when you start to put a graduation date of 20+ years ago, you will find yourself open to potential age discrimination. And, the date works both ways: someone who graduated last week may be perceived as “not knowing anything,” and someone that graduated in 1990 may be perceived as being “old.”

Tip #4 – GPA is not a necessity. Now, if you graduated from college last Saturday and had a 4.0 GPA, that may be the highlight of your document. If so, then definitely include it. At that point, you probably haven’t had a lot of time to grow your professional history. However, if you graduated in 1993 and had a 4.0 GPA, it’s probably not as important today.

Tip #5 – Not ALL education needs to be included. For example, if you attended a technical college for one year, then worked for a while, and eventually earned your degree from a different college, you only need to put the information for THAT institution. Simply list the degree and from where it was earned—that’s it.

Consider all of your education, workshops, and seminars as an opportunity for you to showcase your desire for continuous learning while demonstrating your entire knowledge base. And, if you still have questions about where and how to include education on your next resume, contact me today!

What is the Right Length for My Resume?

You’ve read different online recommendations, you’ve read through your friend’s one-page resume, and scanned your colleague’s three-page resume. Next, it’s time to write your resume. And, you start to wonder…how long should my resume be? Is there a ‘right’ length? How long is too long? Or, is it an absolute necessity to have a one-page document?

This is one of the most common questions that I receive from my clients. And, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all response. I’ve seen it all—I’ve received less than one paragraph from a client and I’ve received an eight-page document that outlines all jobs from 1975 through today. Neither of those works for today’s job market. So, here’s the advice I give to my clients and several guidelines that can be used as you put together your own resume.

Tip #1 – Be concise. Don’t think that a two-page document means that you are a better candidate or that outlining your job history for the last 30 years is the right way to accomplish this task. Instead, think about what is important to the potential employer and how you can get the point across in a clear and concise manner.

Tip #2 – Think one page per 10 years of experience. If you have worked for 20+ years, it’s crazy to think that you can highlight your skill-sets and work history within one page. Or, if you have a lot of community engagement that may be important to the job opportunity and need to point it out, then do it. A two-page document is fine for those that have a great deal of work history.

Tip #3 – Three pages and more is only okay if you are in education or medical professions. Sometimes people think that longer is better and makes them appear more important—it doesn’t. In the field of education (i.e. college professor) or medical professions (i.e. doctor), a CV is often required and can be three pages or beyond. These documents call for publications listings, internships, presentations, and even more. If you aren’t in one of these fields, then avoid anything longer than a two-page resume.

Tip #4 – Don’t include irrelevant information. Did you letter in a sport during high school? Was that 25 years ago? Or, were you the 4-H club president in 1985? Here’s a hint: no one cares. I know that sound harsh, but it’s the truth. If it’s not relevant—leave it off the resume.

Tip #5 – Don’t include long blocks of information. Whether your resume is one page or two pages, keep in mind that most people don’t like to read long paragraphs of information. Instead, include concise and targeted bullet points—they can even be phrases and not complete sentences. My recommendation is not to create a bullet point that is longer than two lines.

Still don’t know exactly which information should and should not be included in your new resume? We can help! Click here to contact us today – we offer free resume reviews!

Check out these other offerings that can help you…

Free Download: Cover Letter Tips Checklist That Gets INTERVIEWS! Click HERE!

Free Resume Download: TOP 5 Resume Tips to GET THE INTERVIEW in Today’s Competitive Job Market. Click HERE!

Managing Employment Gaps on Your Resume

Twenty or thirty years ago, large gaps in employment were more of a rarity and caught the attention (not in a good way) of interviewers, recruiters, and potential employers. In today’s economy, employment gaps are much more commonplace; however, they can still be treated with suspicion and a feeling of mistrust. Through no fault of your own, you may have gaps in employment history. A company may have laid off its newest employees, the organization may have moved, or the entire workforce may have been alleviated of their duties.

Tip #1 – Add in your unpaid work history. When you have the heading Professional History on your resume, it doesn’t mean that all of it must be paid. In fact, many of us have relevant expertise gained through volunteerism, internships, and community engagement activities. If you volunteered during an employment gap, then put this information in your professional history. In additional to adding to your skill-set, it also shows that you weren’t sitting around at home during your time away from the paid workforce.

Tip #2 – Use years only for the dates. If you have only a three-month or six-month gap in your employment, then you can simply list your years of employment and this minimizes the time gap. However, if you choose to go this route, then be sure that you list all of the dates in years only—be consistent throughout the document.

Tip #3 – Group freelance work or temp agency work together. Many people work through an employment agency when they are having difficulties finding full-time work. Instead of listing a three-month stint at this company and a two-month tenure at another company while with the temp agency, simply list the entire timeline while working for the temp agency.

Remember—you are not alone—there are many candidates with gaps in employment history. It is the perception of these gaps that will make the difference between being called for an interview and having your resume moved to the ‘no’ pile. Rather than ‘hiding’ your gaps, be sure to identify why you are the right candidate for the position, highlight your skill-set, and align your document with the job posting.

If you still have questions regarding creating your new resume, contact us today. Or, if you are curious how your resume stacks up against the competition, email Dr. Heather for a free resume critique!

Click HERE to download our FREE Top 5 Resume Tips to GET THE INTERVIEW!

Is a Professional Resume Writer Worth It?

Sometimes, I will hear people say, “I can’t believe that you write resumes for a living. Don’t most people just write their own?” And, my answer is that, yes, many people choose to write their own resumes. However, did you also know that many people have difficulty writing and speaking positively about themselves? Please see below for the top three reasons why you should consider hiring a professional resume writer.

#1 – They will be able to extract information that you hadn’t even considered. A good resume writer knows how to ask questions, use the proper key words, and dig a little deeper to find the accomplishments at your past positions.

#2 – A professional resume writer is up-to-date on formats, technologies, and industry buzz words. Did you know that you should no longer use an objective on your resume? And, no one should use the word “I” within the document. If you aren’t sure what today’s trends are for resume writing, you may want to consider hiring a professional resume writer.

#3 – How much money are you losing while you sit and stare at your old resume? Figure out how much money it is costing you each day to not get started on your new, updated, and forward-thinking document. While hiring a professional resume writer may cost dollars up front, you will quickly find that the investment is worth it when you land your new job.

The bottom line is this—decide if you really have the time, know-how, and desire to craft your own resume. If not, this may be the time to hire out the process. And, if you want a resume writer that has gone through additional education, please be sure to hire a Certified Professional Resume Writer.

Questions about the resume writing process? If so, please contact us at Feather Communications. And, remember that we ALWAYS offer free resume critiques – find out if your document is up-to-par with your competition. We look forward to hearing from you!

Get Your Resume Ready for the New Year

Are you ready for the New Year? Have you made your New Year’s resolutions? Did one of them include landing a new job in your 2015 future? If so, now is the perfect time to gather your information and ensure it is updated if and when you decide to move forward with your job search.

First, if you haven’t been organized in the past, now is the time. Ensure you have backups of your resume in several places. Save it on your computer hard drive as well as on an externally-stored flash drive or hard drive. In addition, print out a hard copy and keep it in a file.

Next, obtain copies of your college transcripts. While you may not need these for each position, they are required for certain fields and specific organizations. It can take several days or weeks to get these in the future, so be sure to order them now. If they are sent in an envelope, don’t open them as they won’t be considered ‘official transcripts.’ If needed, ask for a second copy that you can keep on-hand for future reference.

Third, keep a running list of all professional organizations to which you belong, along with committees and volunteerism. These can be critical to showcasing community involvement and extracurricular activities. Employers are consistently seeking candidates that go above-and-beyond the call of duty at work and are immersed in outside organizations.

Finally, keep all of your information in a safe and labeled location. When working with my resume clients, I can’t tell you how often they come to me and need a refreshed resume within a few days. By keeping organized and getting ready for the New Year, you will have the information you need to move forward.

And, if you are interested in working with a Certified Professional Resume Writer, I would love to work with you. I’ve helped hundreds of clients with their resumes and cover letters.  Please feel free to contact me today!

P.S. If you are interested, I also offer a free resume review. That’s right–free! Email your resume to me and I will offer you constructive feedback on how to improve it–send yours today!

Feather Communications Owner Receives Polka Dot Powerhouse Award

On Saturday, October 25, Dr. Heather Rothbauer-Wanish, owner of Feather Communications, received the “Extraordinary Business Woman of the Year Award” for the Eau Claire Chapter of Polka Dot Powerhouse. Polka Dot Powerhouse is a rapidly-growing, unique, and refreshing community for women’s business and personal networking.

Heather has been involved with Polka Dot Powerhouse for over two years and truly enjoys the camaraderie, business relationships, and friendships that have blossomed since joining this group. Furthermore, she enjoys the opportunities of being able to visit various Polka Dot Powerhouse chapters throughout the area.

“Being elected to receive this award means the world to me. There are so many amazing business women in this organization and to be voted on by my peers is humbling,” Heather said. “I’m excited to continue my journey with Polka Dot Powerhouse and look forward to the continuous opportunities it offers in both my personal and professional lives,” she concluded.

For more information about Feather Communications services, please contact us today!