The goal of a resume is to get you to the next stage, an interview; and a great resume is written in a way that allows you to ace the interview and possibly move on to the stage after that, a job offer. None of that may happen if you make these three mistakes.
- Recently a blogger on resumes suggested that all tasks in a job lend themselves to being described as an accomplishment. He advised a college student who handed out free coupons at a mall to frame her experience like this: “Aligned marketing campaign with potential customers through coupon distribution that increased revenue 10%.” Unfortunately, the entire statement is hard to justify face-to-face when a recruiter or hiring manager asks for details. Mostly, handing out coupons is just handing out coupons.
- Another problem occurs when the resume contains general quotes from famous people pulled out of a reference book of quotes. You may agree wholeheartedly with Dale Carnegie’s statement that “The person who gets the farthest is generally the one who is willing to do and care.” However, why is Dale Carnegie’s wisdom taking up space in your resume? Testimonials from people who know you can enhance a resume or cover letter. But let general motivational phrases inspire you in private.
- Sometimes the information at the bottom of the resume, namely education and computer skills, is allowed to sit untouched way beyond its “sell-by” date. For a recent graduate, details like coursework, graduation date and special honors may be essential to landing a job and may, in fact, be the first things mentioned in a resume. After a few years, even a “magna cum laude” may not carry as much weight as current, more relevant experience. As for general computer skills, unless you are applying for an IT job, you may not need a “computer skills” statement, especially if you are tight for space. First, your experience with WordStar in the 1980s is now (trust me on this) worthless. Second, almost everyone uses Microsoft Office; unless Microsoft Office skills are a stated job requirement, you may be better off using the “computer skills” space for more important information targeted to the job.
Your resume should contain realistic accomplishments, testimonials from people who know and respect you and information that is up to date and targeted for the position you want. I have helped many clients with resumes that take them from submission to interview to job offer. Contact Robin’s Resumes® today.