I know what you are thinking. Do I still really need a resume? It isn’t the dumb question some people might make it out to be. We’ve become a virtual world that’s primary fuel are social platforms. LinkedIn and even Facebook are scrutinized by potential employers looking to hire fresh talent. LinkedIn is, by all accounts, a social and virtual resume. It’s massively convenient. And this isn’t to mention Monster.com, Glassdoor and the likes, who also build in resume platforms.
You still need a resume, though. And you need to know how to write a resume that doesn’t suck. Your resume may end up reformatted by a social employment service, but you still need one. And you need that resume to be mistake free. Now, more than ever, people make mistakes on their resumes because they have begun to place less stress on them. And that’s the first mistake.
Additionally, most job interviews will require you to bring a printed out version of your resume. It should be clean and enticing. It should be the first weapon used to get you hired. The economy is by all standards an employers economy. Competition for jobs, specifically jobs with health insurance, is extremely dense.
But more and more, employers are seeing candidates make ridiculous mistakes on their resumes, or, they are handing over resumes that clearly lack any attention to detail.
Brad Shaw, owner of Dallas-based SEOExpertBrad, a search engine company who commonly hires staff writers says that mistakes on resumes are an indication that the potential employee lacks the detail-oriented nature that his company tends to pursue.
“The job-seeker herd is thick these days, the first sight of an error is almost certain death for the potential employee,” Shaw told Prepforthat, “unless, of course, the jobseeker’s credentials are so overwhelming you are willing to look past it. That’s rarely the case. And when hiring a writer, you definitely don’t want to see any hint of grammatical errors.”
He also related a mistake-free resume to an indication of trust for future assignments.
“One day, you will need to trust this person to carry out detail oriented work.” Shaw continued, “if they can’t be trusted to be detail oriented when it comes to finding employment, they aren’t likely to care anymore once they have employment.”
Knowing how to write a resume sans the job-killer mistakes is essential to your livelihood.
Some resume mistakes are obvious. Some are more subtle. In both cases, they can both cost you an opportunity.
Here are a number of common mistakes which could cost you a great job.
Grammar and Spelling Matter. A Lot.
The virtual social world has failed us when it comes to spelling and grammar. I’m a writer. But I’m also severely challenged when it comes to spelling and grammar. But these days, the world is a bit more forgiving. We are inundated with slang. We are constantly seeking to push and receive faster, more streamlined information, even at the risk of dangling participles and incorrect contractions.
But when it comes to your resume, the rules are much more stringent, as they’ve traditionally been. I always suggest having someone who’s grammatically inclined to read over your resume. Additionally, I suggest using a program called Grammarly to help you with your grammar.
Pay attention to “your” and “you’re” and “there” and “their.” Employers commonly see these mistakes as being derived from someone who is careless with details. They see it as reflecting a person who won’t follow through with quality assurance on new product launches.
Template Resume Syndrome Sucks.
Resumes are an extension of yourself and your purpose. Creating a general resume won’t entice anyone to hire you. I’m a writer. I’m also a WordPress expert. Those are two vastly different sets of skills. Sure, someone might be hiring a writer who is a WordPress expert, but in the end, I’m likely looking to be hired for one of the other. Including both skill sets on the resume equal and balanced means a cluttered resume.
Your skills and purposes should have their own resumes. Remember, you are selling yourself, so you’re essentially targeting a lead. Make sure your resume targets the job and industry you’re looking to work in. Someone hiring a WordPress expert doesn’t want the skill of working in WordPress to be a byline in a writing resume. They want to see the heart of the matter with immediacy. Employers aren’t likely to read your entire resume, so you want to make sure they get what they need in urgent fashion. Tailor your resume to sell you for specific instances.
Your resume needs to get to the point. I’ve found that in life, people who talk in circules are doing so to hide their inadequacies over their understanding in the subject matter. Make your resume’s bullet points concise, but action oriented.
“During my tenure as Director of Sales, our product’s net sales growth increased by 25%.”
That’s to the point. That reveals a specific level of success achieved. It’s not overly wordy.
Understand Resume Service Algorithms.
There is a company called JazzHR. They were formerly a company called The Resumator. Their purpose is to plug into businesses as a resume filter. It is a rather savvy business model. When businesses post job listings, they get inundated with resumes and cover letters and even general request. For an HR staff, it can be overwhelming and quite tedious to mill through each resume.
Enter resume filter services. When the business uses a resume filter service, the applicants apply via that filter service’s software. And that software filters the resumes based on the needs of the employer, who preset the filters.
What does all this mean? Your resume may never see the light of day at the company for which you are applying. While you can’t know what the filters are (unless the company tells you), you can adapt your resume to have a better opportunity of passing through.
Use action-oriented terms, for starters: I “managed” a staff of X number. I “directed” several vital projects. I “sold” 1000 units per week. Action words are more likely to get you through filters. But nothing is full-proof. However, I’d be aware whenever you submit your resume through one of them. In the end, your resume should always serve up action statements.
Your Resume, The Novella, Sucks.
Sorry, but long and wordy resumes make for great paper basketball garbage can shots. Employers who are hiring for a position are likely reading dozens of emails. Your email needs to get to its points in fast action. Don’t overwrite. Sell yourself in concise points, not wordy testaments.
When Did You?
Your resume should clearly point out exact dates. When you leave out dates, employers might think you are hiding timelines. If you were unemployed for a stint, don’t attempt to cover it up, rather, show that you remained a vigilant learner of your trade. There is no shame in downtime that you can’t control. Just show that you took online courses or worked on self-employment opportunities. Show that you remained relevant.
Not putting dates on your resume could get your resume tossed out.
The Team Should Be Greater Than ‘The You.’
“I am looking to advance my career as an engineer.”
Wonderful, so you want to use my company to grow yourself?
“I am looking to work in cutting edge technology and contribute to a top engineering ensemble.”
Whoa, how much better did that feel when you read it? You don’t want to come off as a self-serving smuck before they even get to hear your pretty voice over the phone. Focus on your value to the company which you are targeting for a job. Ask yourself, how can you benefit company Z? Once you have answered that, write your mission statement. Sure, you’re looking to advance your career, but there is no need for that kind of raw honesty when it comes to creating a resume that sells you as someone who will help take a company to the next level.
Your Skills That Pay The Bills.
Don’t leave your skills off your resume. In this arena, be braggadocios. Believe it or not, many job seekers leave off their skills. I’d recommend just peppering your skills throughout the resume, but at the same time, there is no shame in just having a straight up skills section. Employers want to see and know what you can do. This also broadens your worth. Maybe your resume is targeting a job as a barista, but you also have social media skills. The social media skills may serve as an edge for you because the coffee house could potentially have a social media campaign it runs.