On a regular basis, my team and I have a roundtable discussion on what some of the most common resume questions have been over the last week. When you work with a diverse client base every day, you notice trends in the questions that get asked over and over again. I figure if my clients have questions about these things on their resumes, you probably do too. Here are a few questions that are trending this week…
1. Do I add cross-cultural communication skills to my resume?
My client that asked me this was employed by a multi-national Fortune 500 corporation and regularly traveled internationally to conduct business. Given the global dynamics of companies and how employees are required to work with international offices on a regular basis, this question comes up a lot. It is a good skill to have and very valuable that you can thrive globally if you had to travel on business. But is that a resume worthy skill? Not really. The more strategic place to discuss these skills is during a job interview. If you were to go on a job interview and discuss this more in-depth and give context as to why this is an asset to a company, that would be a big selling point to a multi-national corporation. They would be able to see your ability to thrive internationally and your willingness to take that challenge on should the need arise in the future. It is always a good idea to reference your language fluency because that is a truly defining skill you have that sets you apart from other candidates. This can successfully be added to a resume.
2. Should my email address be modernized?
I had this questions twice this week and another one of my team members did as well. This question is code for “should I delete my AOL, Yahoo, or Earthlink email accounts”. Is it a good idea to have a professional email address–YES. Should your email address avoid all nicknames or quirky references to your hobbies or something like that–YES. Does it matter if that email address is AOL, Yahoo, or Earthlink?–NO! There is not a hiring manager in the world that will say they don’t want to interview you or will never consider hiring you because you have an AOL email address. It just doesn’t happen. The main concern you should have with your email address is that it is professional in nature and that you regularly check it. That is most important because you never want to miss an email communication from a company you want to work for.
3. Can I add my LinkedIn Profile to my resume?
With the popularity and necessity of LinkedIn in your job search, this is an every day question for me. First of all, your LinkedIn Profile can’t be added to your resume. That profile exists on its own platform and can’t be “added” to your resume. I’m not sure why, but a lot of people get very confused by this concept. You can’t add your LinkedIn Profile to the resume, but you can add the LinkedIn URL to your resume so you can direct hiring managers to your LinkedIn Profile online. This URL is essentially your “web address” located in the browser when you click on your LinkedIn Profile. For example, they all start with https://www.linkedin.com/in/. Then the rest is able to be customized to your name. You even have the opportunity to create a vanity URL on LinkedIn, which allows you to remove all of the excess numbers and letters that get randomly generated when you create your LinkedIn Profile. So yes, the LinkedIn URL can be added to your resume. But only do so if you are current with your LinkedIn Profile content and you are actively engaged in updating it from time to time. If your LinkedIn profile needs work, spend the time updating it first and then growing your network. Once you feel like you have a strong LinkedIn Profile, then you can add the URL to your resume.
4. Do you have any thoughts on including my Board of Directors experience in the resume?
When you serve on Boards or you hold leadership positions on Boards, those are good to include on your resume. If the Boards are religious in nature or could be perceived negatively for some reason, then omit them from the resume. You will be listing the organizations and the titles you held, but that is as far as it goes. You don’t need to include any details on what you did on the Board or what issues you addressed collectively.
5. I want to tell hiring managers what each of the companies I worked for does and describe the industries more in-depth. Where can I do that?
This question comes up all the time. In theory, it sounds like a good idea. But the reality is that if you want to cast the widest net, you have to omit company descriptors from your resume. If you include the industry and a brief summary of the industry, you end up pigeonholing yourself in only that industry. A hiring manager in a different industry may view this as a screen out factor and you will never get the opportunity to show them how you can be an asset to them. The goal is to show hiring managers that your skills transcend industries and can fit in any industry given your expertise.