20. January 2011 14:20
Today's job market is tough and with fewer jobs available, there is a large pool of applicants flooding job postings and online job boards. Hiring managers are overwhelmed with the amount of resumes they are receiving from applicants qualified and not-so-qualified.
If you are searching for a new job currently, getting your resume to the top of the pile is crucial to scoring that initial interview. With so many people applying, one resume can look like another. Hiring managers and recruiters are savvy at knowing how to quickly read a resume for the information they are looking for to determine if the applicant has the qualifications needed for the job. Likewise, these professionals are also savvy enough to know when to pass on resumes that are missing information or are poorly written.
Below are some secret "don'ts" when creating a resume. Avoiding these mistakes will help your resume stand out in the crowd.
Missing an objective
Resumes should begin with an objective. An objective is a beginning introduction on your resume that discusses what you are trying to achieve. For example, "Results driven marketing professional utilizing analytical, technical, and problem solving skills is seeking a management position in the metro area." When including an objective, use adjectives to describe your skillset and include the job that you are applying for along with the area of town it is located in.
Listing duties instead of accomplishments
Many resumes will simply include what the applicant did at each job, but few explain how those tasks benefited the company or client they worked for. By showing results, future employers can see that you were not just a worker at XYZ company, but were instead a results driven contributor. Tip: Numbers are good! For example, if you worked on an account and there was an increase in sales by 30%, put it on your resume.
Grammar and spelling errors
This should be a simple one, but resumes pass over desks every day riddled with errors. Have someone else proofread your resume before submitting it to a company.
Too much information
Be informative, but hold back on giving too much information. Resumes are a marketing piece that are meant to showcase your qualifications and job history, but too much verbiage or lengthy resumes (multiple pages, for example) can be overwhelming for the person reading it. Provide the information the readers needs to know, but let there be room to discuss items in detail at the interview.
Customize each resume for the specific job you are applying for. For example, change the objective to say "Marketing Analyst" instead of "Marketing Professional". In addition, read the job description and include information to prove that you have the experience for the job. If they are looking for someone with a specific software knowledge, show in your previous position how you utilized that software in your daily responsibilities.
Include employment dates on your resume. Leaving these off sends a red flag to the person reading it that you are hiding something. These dates are also used to reference check previous positions so they are needed.
Missing Hard Skills or College Degrees
Hard skills are any technical or computer knowledge you may have. List software you are trained to use along with any other skillsets. Also, include specific degree earned under educational background. If this information is missing, recruiter may assume you don't have a degree and pass on your resume if it is required for the job.
There are correct ways to format a resume. It makes it much easier for the person reviewing it to find the information they need if it is organized correctly. There are templates in MS Word that can be used to keep it clean. If you are unsure how to create a resume, using one of these templates will make it much easier.
Creating resume in text format or unable to open
Create your resume in a universal software such as MS Word, so that recruiters are able to open electronic documents easily. Using a program that isn't very popular will make it difficult to access your document and make it tempting for the reviewer to simply pass on your application. In addition, avoid using text as a way to format your resume unless specificially asked to do so.