How Specific Should A Resume Be

published on 23 December 2022

Looking at the length of your resume, what information it contains, and how specific those contents are can help determine if your job search is going well or not. If you make your resume too general, it may show that you do not have much in-depth knowledge about positions matching your experience.

If your resume is too detailed with examples, then you might be trying to cover up poor performance or lack of promotion under the guise of qualifications. A potential employer could get confused as to whether they should consider you more experienced because of the elaborate description of your skill set, or if they would want to avoid hiring you due to doubts about your work ethic.

By having a short and vague resume, people may assume that you don’t take care of detail and that you aren’t deserving of employment chances. This could prove detrimental to your career goals!

This article will talk about how to write a professional looking, concise resume and how specific it should be. It is important to know how to tailor your resume depending on the position you are applying for and its corresponding requirements.

Including skills


Being too general is not a good way to describe yourself. This can be due to lack of specific examples or because you’re using very popular terms that may mean different things to each reader.

By being too vague, people will have to work harder to figure out what you want, so they will likely assume it is something less than favorable.

It is important to include most of your skills in your resume. Don’t leave anything off unless you are certain that no one would ever ask about it.

This includes hobbies, past experiences such as team sports where there was an opportunity to showcase your teamwork skills, education courses you took, and anything else that you feel is key to showcasing who you are as a person.

Only include what you're qualified for


Even though your resume should be a listing of all your past experiences, that doesn’t mean it has to list every job you ever had!

It is totally acceptable to leave some parts out or even omit jobs if you can’t find adequate proof of your qualifications. You do not need to include things such as salary or position when you know you are overqualified for the position.

This happens very frequently with people who have more than one degree or who are well-trained in something related to their profession. They feel they must list both because of the importance of the position and the money involved.

However, employers look at a lot of other factors beyond just the paycheck before deciding whether to offer you the position. These factors may include how well you did your previous job, whether there were any complaints about you, etc.

If you don’t include those things in your resume, then it could hurt your chances of being hired.

Strike a balance


Recent graduates should not include very general information in their resumes, such as their education and employment history. This looks unprofessional and can hurt your chances for job interviews!

If you do happen to run into a recruiter or hiring manager that is more lenient with this, then perhaps including less specific information is better.

However, we recommend leaving at least two months between editing your resume, otherwise employers may perceive you as trying too hard to be perfect.

Also remember that even if someone does not ask about your career experiences, there might still be something like LinkedIn that lists people’s profile details. Maintaining an active social media account shows interest in our society in staying up-to-date on what others are doing.

Focus on your strengths


A strong profile does not focus on vague, general statements that do not clearly show how you accomplished past achievements. These could be “managed team” or “developed strategies.” If these things are not clear, they can be difficult to evaluate.

In fact, many employers will simply disregard such a resume as it doesn’t prove anything! Instead of creating a vague, meandering narrative, choose key strengths and emphasize them.

These should be focused on specific projects or achievements that relate to positions you are applying for. For example, if you are seeking an accounting position, then highlighting your proficiency in accounts would make sense.

If you are looking to pursue marketing leadership, talking about leading a project or developing a strategy would be a valid point. And if you want to be a producer, describe what experiences you have supporting a show etc.

This way, your potential employer is able to connect the experience you list with the job opening very easily. You also give more detail, which helps to highlight your accomplishments and expertise.

Add a photo


A picture is worth a thousand words, right? Therefore, it makes sense to include at least one professional headshot on your resume. This can be done during pre-employment screening or through employers’ services they offer for free profile photos.

Some employers may require you to update your image as part of your employment application process.

A photograph helps establish yourself as a credible candidate. If possible, try to match the given guidelines, but don’t feel that you have to use your “best” side eye shot.

Remember, even though this isn’t considered formal workplace attire, looking polished and put together will help convey that you take your career and personal life seriously. Find a balance that feels natural for you, and pick a place where there aren’t too many opportunities to change it.

Don't worry about specificity and generality


When it comes to your resume, consistency is key! If you have listed some activities under one category, make sure to match that pattern elsewhere in your document. For example, if you described working as an administrative assistant before, include that in the Work History section or use this as a reason to add that into that role here.

If you left out any positions, include that information also. The only thing missing will be how long you were employed at each, so include those! Don’t worry about being too descriptive, but do try to keep things organized and relate them to each other.

It can look messy with lots of text floating around, so try to stay within bounds – no need to list every position ever held! Keep it brief and focused on what you are looking for next.

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