As we are preparing college and graduate school applications and applying to jobs and internships our resume is an integral piece to the puzzle. Resumes are ridiculously important to everyone’s employment and professional mobility. It’s a one-stop shop representation of your qualifications and experiences. Potential employers should be able to read it and assess your aptitude and potential. It should be accurate, straightforward, clear and concise. Everybody and their mother’s nephew is looking for a job which means that employers are painstakingly reviewing fifty-leven thousand resumes and cover letters per day. As someone who has sat many a hiring committee , let me tell you, common mistakes make our lives much easier. We bank on them and are delighted to discover them. These trivial little errors and common faux pas identify an applicant as careless, sloppy and unprepared. Just one of these mistakes relegates your resume to the recycle bin, never to be considered again. I’m trying to give you the heads up and make sure you know all you need to know to make the cut.
- Know Your Selling Point and Get To It- Miss us with dramatic self-centered mission statements and objectives that sing your infallible praise. Your goal is to match your skills and abilities to the companies needs. State your business briefly and get on with it. We don't have the time or the patience to figure out why we should hire you. Tell us articulately and appropriately. With most recruiters the priority is the company first and then the candidate. Remember that.
- It is Not A Numbers Game- People often think that the more jobs they apply to the higher their chances of getting a call back for an interview. This is not always the case. Only apply to jobs for which you are qualified for and are genuinely interested in. Nothing is more annoying then having to comb through loads of resumes of individuals that are completely unqualified.
- Always Include a Cover letter- Even if a cover letter is not specifically requested, one should always accompany a resume. Check out the previous posts on Cover letter writing and keep it here for more information I’ll be sharing in the next few days.
- Templates are the Devil- Potential employees can spot a canned resume at a 50 mile radius. Personally I find them very impersonal and just plain lazy. There is nothing wrong with using a template as a guide for formatting your resume, but you’re an individual with distinct credentials and experiences. You shouldn’t force yourself into a generic template. That is the easy way out and we can all tell. Make sure your resume specifically speaks to the position that you are applying for. Since you’re job search is personal and focused it shouldn’t be that difficult to do this kind of tailoring. It really makes all the difference.
- Tell the TRUTH- Padding and fudging your resume can have devastating long term impacts on your career tract. In doing so you are running a very large risk. First of all, your deception is usually very easy to uncover upon closer review. Considering the state of the economy, the hiring process is very involved with large attention to detail. Between reference checking and our good friends at Google your fraudulence can be exposed with a few clicks of the mouse. And remember the world is smaller than you think especially in certain industries. Getting caught in a lie with one hiring manager can lead to black listing. Google the horror stories if you don’t believe me. They do exist.
- Proofread as if Your Life Depended on It- Check and double check and then have someone else check again. Be mindful of your spelling and your grammar as well as your consistency in formatting and punctuation. Are their periods at the end of all of your bullet points? Are all of your headings and subheadings formatted consistently and is your capitalization correct? With resumes there is a lot to remember, so it’s really easy to sometimes forget. That’s why it’s important to take the time and review your resume prior to each time you submit it. Just under 80% of all human resources personnel have reported dismissing mistake riddled resumes of otherwise qualified applicants. Don’t get your resume thrown in the trash for an oversight.
- Formatting- When submitting job applications online it's always best to save and attach your resume as a PDF. This will ensure that the format of your resume will not be altered regardless of the program/operating system that is used to open the attachment. Computers and word processing vary n forms of fonts, margins, alignments and spacing. PDf files ensures your resume remains the way that you send it.
I hope this has been helpful to you! Feel free to holla at me with any questions , feedback or requests for future posts. Till Next Time!