One Page Resume Rule

Contrary to what your college professor said, the one-page resume rule is a myth. Unfortunately, many listen to this outdated advice and devise ways to cram a complete professional history into one sheet. So much so that most job seekers expand the margins of the documents, use a small font size, and skimp on accomplishments rather than risk exceeding one page.

With today’s standards in resume writing, it is impossible to gain a full picture of a professional candidate in one 8-1/2″x11″ sheet of paper. Let’s break down the introduction of a resume and how it has changed over the years.

Objectives Have Been Replaced with Profile Statements: In the past, resumes started with only one sentence: “Seeking a challenging position where there is an opportunity for growth.” Now, resume introductions are more comprehensive, usually up to five sentences. As such, the profile statement takes up more room on the resume.

Keyword Section: Due to the advent of the Internet and resume data banks, all resumes need a list of core competencies that demonstrate the skills, knowledge, and abilities you have acquired throughout your work history. The keyword section alone adds three to five lines.

As you can see, where the beginning of the resume used to be only one sentence, it has grown to ten.

Professional History: Long ago professionals stayed at the same company for ten-plus years. As such, the work history section of the resume consisted of only one or two jobs. Nowadays, many job seekers have six jobs within that same ten-year span. The addition of more jobs usually translates into at least a two-page resume.

Education Section: With a lot more certifications available and many companies investing in employee professional-development courses, the education section has expanded as well.

There is only one rule you should follow in terms of resume length: your resume should be as long as it needs to be to sell your qualifications. That may mean your resume can be one, two, or even three pages.

When you insist on limiting your resume based on the number of pages, the reader won’t get the full breadth of your experience. This isn’t to say that you should include every last detail of your history; however, it should flesh out all the important aspects of your career–especially those all-important accomplishments.

Think About Lying on Your Resume

It is tempting to put little white lies on your resume. These might include overstating your knowledge of required software (“If they call me, I’ll teach myself over the weekend”), a certification (“They’ll never go through all that trouble to find out”) or extending dates at a former employer (“They can’t find out. The company went out of business”).

How many times have you heard someone say, “Just put it on your resume. There’s no way they’re going to find out”?

It is tempting to put little white lies on your resume. These might include overstating your knowledge of required software (“If they call me, I’ll teach myself over the weekend”), a certification (“They’ll never go through all that trouble to find out”) or extending dates at a former employer (“They can’t find out. The company went out of business”).

So what’s the big deal? It’s not like you’re claiming to be a medical doctor, right? Who are you hurting anyway? You’re just stretching the truth a little to get your foot in the door — or so you tell yourself. If these are familiar thoughts, you might want to re-think them. Why? Because the risk of getting caught is real. The odds of getting away with listing false information on your resume are probably, well . . . who really knows? Do you really want to find out the hard way?

There are many reasons that could prompt a human resources manager to conduct an employment background check. Maybe you are not performing your job as well as expected. Maybe a co-worker has the same credential and became suspicious when your facts did not add up during a conversation. Some companies have never experienced a dishonest employee who lied on his/her resume, and does not routinely verify work histories and the validity of credentials. In short, they have a false sense of security. Just the same, many hiring managers are keenly aware that lying on a resume is becoming a costly problem for many companies, and thoroughly check all facts even after they hire a candidate.

Sadly, it is quite common these days to learn of employee terminations because background checks revealed dishonesty. Depending on the level of the position or the severity of the falsification, this could sometimes lead to legal actions. So, before you decide to make yourself look better on paper, think again. It is not worth getting the job if you are not going to be able to live up to it or hold on to it.

Benefits and Taxes on Social Security

Benefits Specialists normally do not assist clients with their taxes unless they are qualified tax preparers. However, they should have a general knowledge of how Social Security benefits may affect a person’s taxes and what credits may be available to their clients. All Title II benefits may be subject to federal tax; this includes:

  • Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
  • Retirement
  • Survivor (Widow(er) and Child)
  • Auxiliary benefits

Social Security benefits are federally taxable depending on a beneficiary’s total income and marital status. If Social Security benefits are a person’s only income, the benefits are normally not taxed and a federal income tax return need not be filed. Beneficiaries who receive Social Security benefits plus other income, need to complete the worksheet in the Form 1040 or 1040A instruction book to see if they must pay federal taxes on their benefits. The general guidelines are:

  • When a beneficiary files taxes as an individual and has combined countable income of between $25,000 and $34,000, federal income tax may need to be paid on up to 50 percent of SSA benefits. If the combined income of an individual is more than $34,000, up to 85 percent of the benefits may be taxed.
  • When a beneficiary files a joint return with his/her spouse and their combined countable income is between $32,000 and $44,000, federal income tax may have be paid on up to 50 percent of the SSA benefits. If the combined couple income is more than $44,000, up to 85 percent of the benefits may be taxable.
  • When each member of a married couple files a federal return separately, taxes will probably be owed on any Social Security benefits received.

By January 31 of every year the Social Security Administration (SSA) sends each beneficiary Form SSA-1099 (Social Security Benefit Statement) which shows the total amount of the benefits paid in the previous year. The figures listed on this form should be used to determine taxable benefits.

Success Skills for Workplace

What are employers looking for in a good employee? Someone who knows how to do everything their job requires? Not necessarily. Most employers are looking to hire friendly people who have a good work ethic and who are polite, optimistic, and cooperative.  This is because it is easier for employers to teach someone a specific skill, for example, how to use a special kind of software or device, than teaching them “people skills,” also called “soft skills.”  Let’s explore the soft skills you need to succeed at work.

 

Soft Skills

Soft skills can be defined as characteristics and behaviors to help you to work effectively and harmoniously with other people. That encompasses a lot of things! Below are a dozen tips to help you do that.

  1. Be willing to accept challenges. Be eager to tackle the job or a new task.
  2. Manage what you do and be self-motivated. Look for ways to stay busy or to help out.
  3. Ask for clarification if you’re not sure what you are being asked to do. Seek help when needed.
  4. Be mindful of your body language, the tone of your voice, and even the words you use.
  5. Smile. Be positive, considerate and polite. Try to make eye contact.
  6. Work with others. Remember there’s no “I” in team. Take breaks and eat lunch with your co-workers.
  7. Mute, or turn off, smartphones and other devices.
  8. Keep personal problems out of the workplace.
  9. If a conflict or a problem arises, deal with it calmly.
  10. It’s ok to make mistakes. Remain positive, take responsibility, and apologize.
  11. Accept direction and criticism without feeling defeated, resentful, or insulted.
  12. Be creative when solving problems and don’t be afraid to make decisions.