Is your resume a turn-off to employers? Chances are that it is. 75% of HR professionals say that they routinely receive resumes that are not on point. That is significant. Are you committing any of these Crimes Against Employability with your resume?
You don’t tailor your resume for the job opening. Seven seconds. That’s how long a recruiter looks at a resume before deciding to move the candidate along to in the recruiting process. That means that your resume must quickly tell the recruiter that you understand the business problem she has, and how to solve it.
You use a functional format. This format is confusing to read; recruiters hate it. It makes it look like you’re trying to hide something. Stick to the reverse chronological format.
You have an objective statement. Straight out of the 1980s, objective statements say that you are out of touch. Not only do employers not care about YOUR objectives (they care about their own, and how you might help them achieve them), it is also a waste of prime real estate. Use the space at the top of your resume to highlight your major achievements and competencies instead.
Your resume contains grammatical errors and typos. This is self-explanatory. Your resume should be a tool of impeccable communication. Why would you want it to be anything less? Please proofread carefully.
You list your job duties and tasks. Employers and recruiters care about are your accomplishments and how you achieved them. Revise your resume to focus on your achievements and not your activities. Start by purging the phrase “responsible for” from your resume and cover letter.
It’s boring. Your resume is a marketing tool, not a recapitulation of facts. Use the resume as an opportunity to tell the reader who you are, and not merely what you do.
You use funky formatting. Yes, charts and graphs are great ways to convey ideas, but limit them to in-person presentations. On your resume, you want to keep it simple and easy to read and to understand. Also, if you’re submitting your resume online, the recruiting software often cannot recognize graphics, so it’s best to stick with text.
You include your entire work history. In 1999, you spent four months at a dot com before it went belly-up. In college, you worked as a waitress at the pizza joint near campus. None of these jobs belong on your resume. Again, your resume is a marketing tool; only include the positions that are within the last 15 years, and eliminate any short-term jobs you might have had.
The Bottom Line
Remember that your resume is a tool that you use to market your premium product—YOU! So focus on what really matters, which is how your achievements can help a new employer reduce expenses, save time, make more money, etc. Tailor your resume for each position to which you apply to convey that you understand the business problems at hand quickly. And lastly, sell yourself as the unique person that you are, and not as a worker bee who performs tasks!