Your resume is your personal marketing piece. It’s what gets you in the door. It has one job and one job only, get you invited to an interview. If you want the interview, make sure your resume doesn’t contain these 13 mistakes.
- A BLAND OR GENERIC SUMMARY: If your summary could be applied to a marketing resume as easily as a resume for an accounting position, then your summary says nothing, and it will get you nowhere. A Summary is NOT some required paragraph at the top of the page of your resume that is there just as a feel good nor is it there to give balance to your resume. It’s an actual and real description of your skills as they’re related to the position you are applying to. It should vary with every position you apply for.
- BLAND JOB DETAILS: “Responsibilities included overseeing construction of 4 Hilton Hotels in Tri-City Metro Area, each 50 floors in height.” Yeah? So what? That doesn’t say if they went up on schedule or if you brought the projects in under budget. It doesn’t say if you took all four from site work up or if the guy handling two of the four hotels was fired and you were promoted to overseeing all four. Differentiate yourself from the others coming into interview. If you don’t tell the hiring company how you will be an asset to them, how will they know?
- WHO’S THE MYSTERY COMPANY?: Don’t assume the name and purpose of your company is common knowledge. If it’s a competitor, it might be, and if it’s in the same industry and located nearby, it might be. To be on the safe side, provide a sentence or two about the focus of your company’s products or services.
- ANOTHER JOB, ANOTHER PARAGRAPH: Don’t keep adding on to your resume job after job, year after year. By the time you’re in your 40s, you need to have weeded out some of the earlier stuff. You don’t need all the college activities, just your degree. You don’t need ALL 5 bullets for each of your first two jobs. A safe bet is to go back only 10 years.
- REFERENCES: Shouldn’t be listed on your resume. “References available on request” is the proper phrase. You present them separately when they’re requested. This isn’t about protocol. This is about protecting your references, so they aren’t called until you and the company are serious about each other.
- IT’S NOT A STORY: Don’t – whatever you do, DON’T – write your resume in the third person!
- SKIP THE PERSONAL INFO: You might think your weekend baseball coaching, or your church choir participation shows you’re an interesting and well-rounded person, but they’re irrelevant. If the interviewer wants to know who you are as a person, aside from the job interview and your qualifications, he’ll ask.
- DEGREE DATE: There are a lot of different opinions on this one. I personally feel that if you have graduated more than 15-20 years ago than leave your graduation date off your resume.
- SPELL CHECK, SPELL CHECK, SPELL CHECK: Spell checking visually by you AND someone else, any fewer than three times, isn’t enough. And don’t forget to check your punctuation.
- GETTING YOUR RESUME OUT THERE – part one: Don’t use one of those resume blaster sites. Half of the sites they blast it to aren’t even valid. You don’t know how it will come out on the other end. You don’t even know where it’s going or if where it is going is even relative to what you are trying to find. It’s bad form and just…. NOT the way to find your perfect job. Finding your perfect job takes focus, attention, detail, individuality, tailoring, and specifics. Resume blasting is about as far from that as you can get.
- GETTING YOUR RESUME OUT THERE – part two: If it’s a job posting than send your resume as a pdf or word doc. You never know what it can look like on the other end but most applicant tracking systems are pretty good with pdfs and word documents.
- GETTING YOUR RESUME OUT THERE – part three: If you know the company, call or reach out to the hiring manager on LinkedIn and ask if you can send your resume directly to them
- RESUME VISUALS: White or Ivory paper. Black ink. Individual pages. No plastic, 7th grade, science report cover with the plastic slider or metal push down tabs. Your name centered at the top, not on a cover page that says “Introducing John Doe III”. No exceptions. Your resume is a professional document, not a school book report or an art project. Until every resume is done this way, yours will still stand out in the crowd.
You are the product, and your resume is the marketing piece. To find your perfect job you must differentiate yourself from the other people who will be submitting their resume’s and being interviewed.
Your resume must be specific, individualized, easy to skim so it invites a closer reading, and focused on the differences you’ve made with your previous companies, as well as the accomplishments you’ve achieved. This tells the hiring company what you can do for them – and it IS about the hiring company, not you.
Joshua Crawford | Managing Director | Get Hired Secrets
Get Hired Secrets is Launching Careers Daily. My name is Joshua Crawford, and I am a leading authority in all things Recruiting, most things HR, and an expert in helping you Get Hired. Get Hired Secrets is about bringing you powerful, insightful, impactful resume and interview techniques so you can dominate and get the job of your dreams. Check out our trainings, tips, and tricks at www.GetHiredSecrets.com
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