The only question that matters when writing a CV or resume

Does it matter?

Everyone will have an opinion on what to include on a resume, but only one opinion matters … that of the resume reader.

Whether you are writing a new resume or tailoring an existing one, this one question will help you decide whether to include something or not.

Should I include…

At the time of research, if ‘should I include’ is typed into the search box on Google or Bing, most of the suggested searches relate to job search (your specific results may vary)

Google: Google Suggestions

Similarly, the answers to these questions vary. For example, when ‘should I include a photo in resume’ is Googled…

Google Results

Google Results – summary of advice: 1. Why Your Resume Should NEVER Include a Photo – ‘No’ 2. Should you include a photo with your resume? – ‘No’ 3. Should my resume include a photo of myself? – ‘Maybe’ 4. ‘No Photo On Your Resume’ And Other Career Advice You Should Question – ‘Why Not?’ 5. 5 Things You Should Absolutely Never Put on a Resume – ‘No’

So, how can anyone know which opinion to follow?

You don’t.

You need to find your best answer by asking yourself the simple question: ‘does it matter?’, for each content you want to include.

Like many answers to many questions, the broad answer is ‘it depends’. The good news is that it depends on your unique context – your individual circumstance and each specific job – so by doing some research on the company, industry and country, the answer can become a definite answer.

It could matter if…

The following are examples of when you could include content not specifically requested by the job ad:

Photo

Career Objective / Profile Statement

References

Hobbies & Interests

Lastly, remember that your resume is a marketing document that aims to get you an interview. Your application may get as little as 30-45 seconds of consideration when first viewed, so you need to highlight the most important and relevant information.

If it really matters, make it prominent. If it doesn’t matter, leave it out.