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Top 5 Resume Questions According to Google

Go to Google.com, type in the words "have you," and then stop. You'll see a list of suggestions pop up. That's called Google Suggest, and it's a group of popular search terms that Google thinks you might be looking for. In other words, it's Google trying to make your life simpler by telling you what the rest of the world is looking up, just in case it matches what you're looking for.

Curious myself, I typed the words "should my resume," and found that the first five suggestions were some of the simplest questions anyone could have about resumes. Here they are, with equally simple answers taken from previous Pongo blog posts and Learning Center articles:

  1. Should my resume be one page?

    The rule of thumb is to keep your resume to one or two pages. The final length really depends on the amount of relevant information you need to present. If you've been in the workforce for a short time (say, less than five years), then a one-page resume will probably suffice.

    If you need a second page, make sure there's enough content to fill at least a quarter of it. If necessary, you can adjust the line spacing or font size slightly to create a better fit. (And be sure to leave plenty of white space to give your readers a visual break, and a place to write notes about you.)
     
  2. Should my resume have an objective?

    Maybe yes, maybe no. Yes, if you're:

    • Just entering the workforce; 
    • Re-entering the workforce after an extended absence; or 
    • Changing careers.

    For most other people, your career objective is obvious, so it's better to begin your resume with a Professional Summary. See the difference between Objectives and Summaries here.
     
  3. Should my resume include references?

    No! Your resume should not include references (unless the employer specifically asks for them), nor should it include the line "References available upon request." But you should always have a list of references available on a separate document if the employer asks for them.
     
  4. Should my resume be in past tense?

    Generally, if you're employed and writing about your present job, then use the present tense to describe your responsibilities and accomplishments. If you're writing about a past job, use past tense. However, if your current job involves a responsibility that you no longer have, like hiring seven new staff members, you might want to take a different approach. Read more about that here.
     
  5. Should my resume have a cover letter?

    Yes! Without a cover letter, you're relying solely on your resume to convince the hiring manager to call you for an interview. That's asking a lot. A cover letter allows you to add a more personal touch, which can strengthen your candidacy and increase your odds of landing an interview. It also lets you highlight what you know about the company and demonstrate your communications skills. Not convinced? Here are six reasons you definitely need to send a cover letter.

Do you have other resume-related questions that I didn't answer here? Ask them in a comment below!

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