Last week, I volunteered my time at the LocalWork.com job fair to review resumes. As usual when I’m looking at resumes, I saw everything, but one really stuck out: if it had 20 words on the whole thing, it was a lot. Essentially, it was a list of the jobs that person had; it was not a resume. But then again, the person was looking for a job as a driver, so perhaps he didn’t need a resume. And that brings up a great question: Do you even need a resume? The answer is not a definite yes. In fact, there are many people who can get buy just fine without that career-marketing document.
Some questions you should ask yourself to determine if you really need a resume:
What type of job are you considering?
Jobs at the mall, Arby’s, or as a day laborer aren’t going to require a resume. If you’re asked first to apply online or handed a paper application, it’s a pretty good bet that a resume is not required (or optional, at best).
Do you have any (or enough) experience?
If you don’t have anything to share on a resume, why put yourself through the rigmarole of writing one? Sure, if you’re just finishing college and looking for your first professional position, it’s going to be worthwhile to start working on a resume that includes internships, volunteer positions, related coursework, and student clubs, but if you’re looking for your first job during or out of high school, you can probably skip the resume.
Do you know the right people?
I work with many experienced professionals who’ve never had — or needed — a resume in their lives. These are 45-year-old or older folks with an esteemed career who’ve gotten every job on a handshake and a few phone calls. If you can count yourself as lucky enough to know the right people you can call to get an interview, and you have the reputation to back it up, you may not need a resume.
If you missed last week’s job fair and would like to have your current resume professionally reviewed, email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d be happy to provide some insight and suggestions, even if one of those is that you don’t need a resume at all.
For more tips on resumes, go here: http://www.localwork.com/blog/your-resume-your-value-personified