When it comes to resume advice: It’s a shot in the dark as individual preferences vary widely.

They are overconfident bullshit artists with blinders on. The sad truth is that they cannot teach you the ultimate secret or even point you in the right direction when assembling your resume.

No one knows. No one knows how a specific individual person will react to a specific individual resume.

If you’re trying to tailor your resume for a specific job at a specific company, you are probably wasting your time. You’d have better luck connecting with the hiring manager through someone in your network. At that point, pretty much any resume that captures the essence of the job should do the trick.

The dirty truth about my personal resume review process.

I doubt that I could even tell you what I look for in a resume as I’m pretty sure that changes from day to day and is greatly dependent on my mood. On bad days, when I haven’t gotten enough sleep, I can feel especially nit-picky and will analyze resumes searching for mistakes, inconsistencies, or anything that stands out as momentarily irksome. That could be the font, the university someone attended, the fact that they found the space and thought it would be a good idea to include their hobbies.

I could toss out a candidate out of pure spite if they worked for 10 years in Hawaii or for a particularly prestigious employer that has never bothered to select me for an interview.

I could also do the opposite tossing out candidates who attended Liberty University or the same university as a previously bad employee. I know that none of these things tell me how a person will perform at the job I was hiring for. But, I’ve been given a stack of resumes and a deadline. Sometimes, you just have to rely on fate.

My style of reviewing resumes is also greatly dependent on the reason I am hiring. Am I replacing a star performer? No one is going to be good enough. Are we expanding and is there a push to hire several people quickly? The first people to write me back will get the first interview slots. Also, my boss is more likely to want to finish that hiring drive so he can check it off his list quickly, impressing his boss. Quality is damned.

Timing is much more important than the content of your resume. That is something that you probably won’t be able to predict from outside, or even inside, the company.

I find it best to send in your resume about a week before news of one of these unexpected hiring drives makes it down to me. My boss wants to look at the most recent applicants at that point. So dumb luck is a better determiner if you will land your dream job than anything actually within your control.

9 of the most common pieces of advice given and how that affects you.

Leaving off irrelevant or old careers: Yes or No?

This is dependent on your age as well. If you are younger, you want a longer resume, especially if your work history is relevant to the position you are applying for. If you are older, the opposite is true. You want your resume to be as short and as full of white space as possible, giving off the appearance of youth.

You should always list the month and year of each position.

Leaving gaps on your resume.

As far me, I’m well aware that life happens. A gap of any length doesn’t particularly phase me. If anything, I might be curious what you were doing and ask you about it. If you don’t have any explanation, I will also assume you were giving in to the desires of your soul’s dark passenger serial killing people across the nation to get it out of your system and crossing it off your bucket list before returning to the workforce.

Listing your career objective.

Listing your hobbies attempting to make you seem like a real person.

Lying on your resume.

The same websites say that up to 50% of resumes contain at least 1 small white lie. That’s 50% of your competitors trying to give themselves an unearned advantage over you. These websites also guarantee you will get caught and try to scare you with the idea that you will never work again.

But, if 50% of everyone has some exaggeration or outright lie on their resume, then they are getting away with it. I don’t see 50% of the workforce getting fired.

Listing Microsoft Word, Excel, or Microsoft Office on your resume.

It depends on the job and the company you are applying to. There is also no easy way to determine if the ATS system at the company you are applying to includes these keywords or not. I’d think even if you called the HR manager and asked directly, they probably wouldn’t know for sure. Good luck with that one.

Changing industries or job duties.

If you are attempting to make a major change, make sure that there are hints on your resume leading up to your decision. Maybe a Coursera course or two about your newly found passion.

Including that foreign language, you took for a semester in high school.

There you go. My analysis of resume writing advice. Take it or leave it. If I were you, I’d take it. You don’t know what I had to go through to get enough experience to feel confident giving my advice on this topic.

See you out there, diligently pounding the pavement while trying your best to keep your smile straight and your ear to the ground.