Somewhere out there, there’s a person with the world’s most perfect resume. His degree relates to his field of study. He got a job related to his degree right out of school, and each subsequent gig — at which he stayed for the perfect length of time — built elegantly on the learnings of the job before. We do not like this person very much, but that’s not a problem: if this platonic ideal of a job seeker really exists, he’s pretty rare.
The rest of us have resumes that chart the course of real life, with all its stops and starts and reversals and happy accidents. The good news is that, with a little clever arranging, you can make your resume reflect the best possible version of you. A recent Learnvest article examined several common resume flaws, and offered tips on how to deal with them.
Here are few problems you might run into:
1. Your degree isn’t related to the job.
Especially when you first graduate, it can be difficult to draw a connection between your degree and the job you’re seeking. But don’t fret — the situation you’re facing might not even be a problem.
“Only specific fields — like engineering, graphic design, health care/medicine, pharmaceutical and automotive, to name a few — require related degrees for entry-level work,” corporate recruiter Dennis Tupper explains to Learnvest writer Stephanie Taylor Christensen. “Otherwise, companies are seeking someone who is coachable and moldable, will work hard and has a vested interest and passion in the company or industry.”
2. You haven’t had your first real job.
Again, this plagues recent graduates, although in the post-recession economy, grads don’t need to be all that recent to experience this problem. Bruce A. Hurwitz of Hurwitz Strategic Staffing advises Christensen’s readers to keep building their resume, either by taking classes or volunteering, so that they’re continuing to develop related experience.
3. You have a lot of gaps on your resume.
If you’ve been laid off a few times in the past few years, you have lots of company. This is where a functional resume, which describes your skills and experience rather than listing your jobs chronologically, comes in handy.
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