Resumes & Cover Letters

10 Awesome Resume Tips From The People of Reddit

Written by Kate Lopaze

Depending on what you’re visiting the site to find, Reddit can be…a mixed bag. The best part of Reddit: anyone can weigh in on any topic. The worst part of Reddit: anyone can weigh in on any topic. That means you get great information and advice mixed in with people who don’t know what they’re talking about, or are just there to stir up problems. If you’re looking for resume tips, we’ve reviewed some of the burning questions on /r/resumes, and found some awesome advice there. Let’s look at some of the greatest hits:

1. How can I make my resume pop?

Three words: simplify, simplify, simplify. Making your resume easy to read (set headers, brief explanations, clear bullet points) can help get you in the “to interview” pile and out of the “tl;dr” pile.

2. What should I include in a resume when I’ve never had a job before?

This Redditor suggests emphasizing academic accomplishments (GPA, relevant classes, degree), volunteering experience (after all, it is experience), and technical skills.

3. How do I list multiple positions at the same company?

If the jobs were dramatically different, you can separate them out and treat them like separate jobs. If they’re similar positions, concentrate more on the top-line accomplishments and skills.

4. Should I include a cover letter even when it’s not requested?

This Redditor recommends going for it. It’s a way to give more information about yourself, and can help you stand out in a very crowded applicant pool.

5. Should I use a traditional resume format or a creative one?

It can be tempting to want to use a fun new format, but realistically, traditional is best. The creativity points you score for using something unorthodox might be canceled out by the disruption to the reader’s usual evaluation process.

6. All of my experience so far is from working at my family’s business—will this help or hurt?

Basically, experience is experience, and as long as you have the skills and experience you need for the new job, you should be good to go.

7. I have 20 years of experience. Should I do a two-pager?

Not if you can help it. If you can, condense the most important highlights into one resume page. The one-page rule is about readability and the reader, not about the writer’s experience.

8. How do I list colleges when I didn’t graduate?

This can be tricky—people don’t graduate for a variety of reasons, but you still want to include that you attended college on your resume. Try using words like “attended,” or “took X credits toward a Bachelor’s degree.” Just don’t suggest that you have a specific degree if you don’t, because that can land you in very hot water. Spin is okay. Lying isn’t.

9. In this digital age, do I still need to include my physical address in the header?

Short answer: yes. It’s tradition, but it also might be a factor for resume scanning programs to see whether candidates are local.

10. Do I mention why I quit my last job?

One Redditor puts it very succinctly: “First you get the date, then you tell them you’re divorced.” You don’t want to set off any red flags before you even get an interview. It’s fine to keep it vague in a resume or cover letter, though you should be prepared to talk about it in an interview if necessary. (And always, always keep it opinion-neutral. An interview for a new job is not a venting exercise for the last one.)

About the author

Kate Lopaze

Kate Lopaze is a writer, editor, and digital publishing professional based in New York City. A graduate of the University of Connecticut and Emerson College with degrees in English and publishing, she is passionate about books, baseball, and pop culture (though not necessarily in that order), and lives in Brooklyn with her dog.