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When looking online to build an updated resume to show people for potental jobs, I have three. One for IT, one for Buisness, and one for general admin work.

Now, here is the crux of my situation, the last time I really tore apart my resume and put it back together again was about 10 years ago... I've been bandaging it together ever since to "Modernize it", but I'm afraid I need to deep six it and start from scratch. I just don't feel comfortable giving it to someone and pay them $500 to give me something that may or may not work. So I have some questions if at all possible for the community at large:

  1. Do all resumes depending on the type of job you are going for (Professional), look the same in general formatting?

    So in English does a resume always have Skills, then Education, than Experience? OR does it depend on the company you are attempting to make your employer?

  2. Are there sections of the resume that are more important than others?

  3. In a professional resume do you still need to use the Objective, or is that now obsolete?

  4. Is it still true to keep the formatting down to one page or is it acceptable in this day and age to fill multiple pages?

  5. If you own a blog, twitter, website, Linkedin, or even a StackExchange account should you put that information on your resume?

  6. If you own a website, is it better to use a Google/AOL/Yahoo, etc. account or your personal website account when attempting to obtain a job from a company?

  7. When sending a resume as an attachment, do you send it as an .RTF, .DOCX, or .DOC?

closed as not a real question by Justin Cave, yoozer8, yannis, pdr, gnat Oct 17 '12 at 7:08

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • It seems likely that this would be better served being broken up into multiple questions. Some parts of the question are off topic (i.e. #6 is a duplicate of this closed question workplace.stackexchange.com/questions/1890/…) while others are answerable. – Justin Cave Oct 16 '12 at 17:21
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    The OP is asking for an opinion opposed to looking for factual information. The core of the question "Is there a universal 'Best Format' for a resume" doesn't give room for an exact answer as there is no definitive answer. – Mechaflash Oct 16 '12 at 17:24
  • @Mechaflash actually I'm looking for best pratices, because people who are HR, as well as headhunters have to look here sometimes... I can't imagine employees are the only people who post here. – Matt Ridge Oct 16 '12 at 17:29
  • An human resources manager can tell you what "they" like to see in a resume, but it won't give you a definitive "This is what you should use every time" answer. Answers will be either speculation or personal preference. – Mechaflash Oct 16 '12 at 17:36
  • It is better to have a direction to go, than to guess, because today HR are the people seeing your resume first, not the managers in many cases. – Matt Ridge Oct 16 '12 at 17:39
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I agree with the comment thread that there is likely to be no one true answer here. I can tell you what I've seen as a hiring manager, but I'm just one point of information...

But in the spirit of attempting to be helpful:

1. Do all resumes depending on the type of job you are going for (Professional), look the same in general formatting?

I don't see a single consistent format - but all of them include education, skills, experience (usually in a time order), and often there is an intro/summary/objective in the front. And of course contact info on top.

Many large companies or even smaller companies that use a commercial tool for resume streamlining will also ask that you paste the resume information into their tool when you apply - so be prepared with a resume version that has little to no formatting. This is a case of the lowest common denominator - very few of the resume submission sites I've seen have as many nice GUI bells and whistles as (say) the SE answer textbox. :)

Be prepared to have your own layout, as well, that highlights you as best you can - be ready to provide a resume configured YOUR way if at all possible. Better to make your own choices in how you present yourself vs. letting others pick it for you.

So in English does a resume always have Skills, then Education, than Experience? OR does it depend on the company you are attempting to make your employer?

I'd say that for almost all cases in English, you generally want to write in such a way that the very verbose part of any paper (a resume included) is towards the end with a lot of labeling and white space. Which means that for the most part, the experience list goes last as this tends to be the lengthy section. Skills first vs. Education is as far as I can tell a matter of personal preference.

For the most part, if people put special interest or interesting personal facts in, it goes at the very end.

Contact info is always first.

2. Are there sections of the resume that are more important than others?

The ones highlighted in the job you are applying for. Other than that - readability is the crucial element and highlighting your strengths.

3. In a professional resume do you still need to use the Objective, or is that now obsolete?

It varies. I see "summary" sometimes instead of objectives, and I've noticed career sites trending toward the idea of "Personal branding" - in other words instead of saying "I want X, Y, Z", you use a summary to describe who you are and how your particular ambitions & talents combined might serve the organization. If you do this, be prepared to update for each job.

4. Is it still true to keep the formatting down to one page or is it acceptable in this day and age to fill multiple pages?

1 page is still a good guideline. I've seen longer and not turned them down. Be aware, even with 10+ years of experience, the more you make a hiring manager, the more content you better be providing. If you make me (the hiring manager) read a 3 page tome, you better walk on water, because I don't have a lot of time for this and resume writing is terse.

5. If you own a blog, twitter, website, Linkedin, or even a StackExchange account should you put that information on your resume?

Go for it. They take so little real estate, I have a hard time not seeing them as a win-- unless the content you provide there is shoddy. No one I know of will turn you down because you provided this (unless your content is embarassingly bad), and it may do some good.

Similiarly, skip it if you use the site primarily for social/family stuff - it's just not interesting, don't distract the reader from the meat of who you are as a professional.

6. If you own a website, is it better to use a Google/AOL/Yahoo, etc. account or your personal website account when attempting to obtain a job from a company?

Doesn't matter. Be aware that the less typing a reader has to do, the better. And resumes are one of the few contexts where they may still be printed more often than they are read online.

Streamline your links, though. Don't give a reader 12 different links to chase down. If you have a website and a collection of worthwhile social media profiles, collect them all on the home page of your site or pick 1 or 2 of the best. There is little to no chance that a reader of a resume has time to click through 10+ links.

7. When sending a resume as an attachment, do you send it as an .RTF, .DOCX, or .DOC?

Widely variable by industry and company. In most cases, you'll be posting it to a website, and the key is what the website allows.

  • The only thing I would argue, is the format. It is not uncommon for people to view your resume on different computers and/or devices, for example, tablets and Linux operating systems. To ensure the document looks correct on all platforms, PDF is the best choice. Every operating system/device can correctly open/render a PDF. The same can no be said for proprietary file extensions. – Blink Jul 6 '15 at 14:48
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All things about a resume can be different depending on the job you are going for and the skills you possess. My resume has Accomplishments (by far the most critical part), Skills (for the HR filters and as short as possible), Work History (Very short, the important stuff is in accomplishments) and Education (no more than 2-3 lines). If I was a recent grad with little or no work history, I would probably put education first and add more detail.

Under no circumstances, make the resume more than two pages in the US. Most hiring managers I have known will throw out longer ones without reading as they waste their time. If I can get my 30+years of experience in a two page resume so can you. Generally no one expects you to put in more than the last ten years anyway.

The Objective section has always been worthless and and will never get you the job. It may get you disqualified though, so don't waste precious space on it.

If you think your blog, etc. is important and you have the space, then put it in, or you could put it in a cover letter if you choose. Just be aware that anything you say in this line may be looked at, so if it (espcially a blog) is not impressive, don't bother. Some people will have a portfolio of work that they link to and if you have that and the work is good and it doesn't violate any confidentiality agreements with your employer, then please feel free to impress by including that.

Never pay anyone to prepare your resume. Having looked at thousands of resumes over the years, you can spot the ones from resume companies in an instant (they tend to use the exact same phrases and format for everyone) and that will also automatically ensure your resume gets less attention as many if not most of those resumes are extremely exaggerated. It impresses no one that you can't put your own resume together.

Many people send Word .doc or .docx files but if you are sending to a recruiter, it is often best to send a .pdf as recruiters will sometimes "fix up" your resume (i.e., lie about your experience) before passing it along.

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I don't believe you would want to accept any 'One' answer for this as each HR department will have a different outlook on formatting.

What you should focus on is asking for additional information from the HR department about such things as:

  • Do you believe that seeing consistent work history is more important than seeing exactly what skillsets I have to offer?

If they say "Yes", then steer your attention more to a chronological resume. If "No", then create a more focused resume, touching on jobs and experiences tailored specifically to the position.

If I were you, I'd just do both. Find the answer to the above question. Give that one to the HR manager so you can get the interview with the technical person, and let the technical person know that you also have a resume available that's more focused on related skill sets.

EDIT: General guidelines

  • Keep it to the point (no more than 2 pages)
  • Spell check it to death
  • Have other people review it prior to submitting it (looking for errors)
  • Keep extra copies on hand in case your interview consists of a panel of interviewers.

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