Fast Company: “Five Common Mistakes…”
Fast Company’s Drake Baer compiles a list of 5 common resume mistakes that includes some of what I have in chapter 3 of my book, Modern Job Search. Not a bad quick list. Of course, your resume and work leading up to it are a lot more involved than just a few tips and tricks. Let’s take a closer look though:
Number 1, Clichés, Number 4, Vague Claims and Number 5, Qualitative descriptions: These three could probably be combined but then there would only be three points in the article and maybe five sounds better. The bottom line, as three the article’s contributors state, is to be specific. Numbers, numbers, numbers. I don’t know about the “6 seconds” the author cites but the amount of time I take on the first pass of any resume is short. I need to get to the “meat and potatoes” so I can make a decision (in or out) and keep moving. The easier it is for me to get there, the less resistance there is for me to continue reading.
Number 2, References: My advice is simple. Make them ask. You need to control your references to make sure nothing happens that can hurt your chances. You don’t want anyone contacting your references before you’ve had a chance to brief them. As well, who uses the same references for every job?
Number 3, Objective: Nice quote here: “Hiring managers want to know your skills and experience–they don’t care about your objective, says Stefanie Carrabba, senior consultant at Eliassen Group.” In my book, I state that “Objective Statements are usually very self-focused. Everyone wants to ‘grow in their career, develop more skills’ or ‘attain a leadership position.’ If I’m looking at your resume, then it’s not really necessary to tell me why I’m looking at it: You want something! Otherwise, you wouldn’t have sent it, right?”
Boiled down to the most basic elements, from Chapter 3 about packaging yourself, “to have a successful resume you’ve got to present the most relevant information in a clear and ordered format, nothing more and nothing less. And again, relevant information is only relevant if the person reading it thinks so. The mission of your resume is to answer some questions but not all of them and provoke a desire for further contact.”
Want to learn how to create the type of resume that a professional headhunter or an overworked hiring manager will really read? Buy my book today and make sure your resume isn’t what stops you from getting to the next step.
(Photo: Image grab from original article)