After working for a staffing and recruiting agency for nearly 6 years, I’ve seen my share of poorly written, badly formatted, and self-destructing resumes. Many job seekers have shot themselves in the foot for making simple and basic mistakes. As I’m sure you’ve heard and read time and time again, your resume is a marketing tool to promote yourself. It’s evident to hiring managers how much time and effort you’ve invested in this critical piece and the results speak for themselves. If you are an active and serious job seeker, you should check your resume today to avoid making damaging mistakes.
Self-promote, don’t self-serve. Your resume shouldn’t be about what you are
looking for in your next job opportunity, but instead how your skills and background
can fill a void at an organization. For example, don’t state in an objective that you
are looking to utilize your education and experience to grow within a company. This
is a very self-serving statement and doesn’t provide the hiring manager with insight
as to why they should hire you.
Check your email address. Your email address says a lot about you. Some
addresses reveal more than what a hiring manager would ever want to know. I’m
sure you want your friends and family to know you as hotmama166, but do you
want your future employer to know you that way? Create a new email address
specifically for your job search. When doing so, keep it simple and professional.
Don’t undersell yourself. Spend time thinking of all the tasks and responsibilities you
had at your previous jobs. It may be something you only did monthly, but that
experience could be relevant to a prospective employer.
Use action words. You can make any sentence pop by adding a power or action
word. For example you could state that you file documents or you could state you
accurately and systematically file confidential information.
Don’t include pictures or personal information. A guaranteed way to get your
resume tossed aside is if you include a picture with your resume. Even if your
picture is professional, which the majority of the ones I see are not, it shows a lack
of judgment on the job seekers behalf. Leave the pictures for your online profiles.
Also, do not include anywhere in your document your personal interests. Knowing
that you like to fish with your family has no relevance on your professional future
and may even cause an employer to negatively judge you.
Quantify your successes. Nothing stands out more than numbers. For instance,
which candidate would you choose; someone who states they have customer
service experience or someone with over 12 years of progressive growth in
customer service? If possible, try to back up your success with numbers. Here’s
another example; by researching and selecting a different paper vendor I saved the
company $450 per month.
Make sure to spend some time upgrading your resume. With the job market as competitive as it is, those who spend the time will be the ones who get results.