Serious missteps in a resume

BlogBreak contributor and vice-president of e-resume.net Chandra Fox has some good advice for avoiding costly errors on your resume:

Resume is void of results-focused information
If your resume reads like anyone that has had a similar background to yours, then it is not good. That means your immediate competitors’ resumes read just like yours. You must differentiate yourself. Tell about the project you had that saved the day and your role.

A whole lot about nothing
If your resume is more than two pages, re-evaluate your resume. There is a time when a three-page resume is appropriate, but be sure that means you. If your resume discusses things that are not vital to the particular job for which you are applying, eliminate them.

One style doesn’t fit all
After reading what the company wants for a particular position in the job posting, be sure your resume reflects your experience that is mentioned in the description. Do not lie but make sure any experience you’ve had throughout your career that is mentioned in the job description is highlighted in your resume.

Ten pounds in a five-pound bag
Too much to read on your resume can be your downfall. A resume with small margins, smaller font, no bullets and everything written in long paragraphs is not good. Make sure the format is easy on the eyes. Don’t make it cumbersome to read. Readers will give up quickly – you only have 30 seconds.

Personal information on the resume
A resume must be about your career history – although there can be exceptions, there is typically nothing personal in a resume. College resumes often include hobbies; after college stick to the subject at hand – your qualifications.

Now take an objective eye to your resume. See if you have fallen into any of the common errors and make adjustments. Then you can watch the power of your new resume in action. Do you have any more tips on writing a winning resume?

4 comments Add your comment

Patricia

May 29th, 2009
12:48 pm

Check your spelling, grammar, punctuation, and capitalization. Then have someone else check it again. Apparently this message has not been received by some job applicants.

If the position you are applying for requires an online application, do not leave the experience fields blank and refer to your resume. Some commonly used job application software does not always flag the fact that there is a resume attached. Even if it does, it is more work for the person reviewing resumes to have to look somewhere else.

Use the words and phrases in the job description to describe your experience. In large organizations, the first cut of applicants may be done by a HR person who doesn’t know the field. Using the same words to describe your previous experience will help get your application through to the hiring manager.

unemployed guy

May 29th, 2009
12:59 pm

It never hurts to read up on resume tips. But I can tell you that it really is b.s. We’ve come to the point now where we try to make those who have lost their jobs….through no fault of their own…feel as if it’s the construction of their resume and cover letters that is holding them back from reentering the job market.

The truth is, if you’ve included correct information, free of grammatical and spelling errors, and you’ve tailored the cover letter and resume to the company and job you’re applying for, then you’ve done all you can really do.

People are not hiring and of they are, there are 100’s, if not 1000’s applying for the same position. The idea that your resume didn’t get you the job is false. When the economy is good, and people are hiring, you don’t see all these articles about resumes, because, they really don’t matter as much as you are lead to believe in tough times.

The best way to get a job is to know someone who can put you in touch with an open position and has some sway with the people doing the hiring. Failing that, the best way is pure luck. You, or your resume just happen to be there when the person hiring makes time to look for someone and is ready to hire.

95% of every other “tip” you read about how to get a job is b.s. Luck, timing, personal relationship, ready error-free resume. Those are the keys.

Tony

May 29th, 2009
1:39 pm

By all means, have someone proofread your resume. Do not simply let your computer “spell check” do the deed. When I review resumes I go straight to the employment record. Are there any gaps? Frequent changes? The author of the article is correct about long and wordy resumes. Don’t do it! References will be checked.

Doug

May 29th, 2009
2:03 pm

Patricia:

Good stuff.
Thanks!