2012 is upon us and most of Q1 is behind us. The question I am asked on a daily basis is “How is the job market?” My answer-unemployment is still high and new job creation slow but improving. Every day there are more job openings, however, competition among job seekers continues.
What separates the now employed from the ranks of unemployed? It could very easily be the quality of their resume.
I am amazed at how little time, energy or thought often goes into the very document that will determine success or failure when applying for a job. No matter how dynamic, skilled or successful you are, without an interview, you can’t land the job. The resume is the gateway to the interview. Thus, I lay out my:
TOP FIVE RESUME BLUNDERS
5. Extraneous information.
Hobbies and Interests – A waste of valuable resume space. Never put hobbies and interests on your resume unless they directly relate to the job! Mention your 15 minutes of fame or the celebrity you know? Think it makes you unforgettable? Well, it will definitely get you noticed, and most likely remembered, but all too often the extraordinary information you offer up leaves a negative impression.
4. An Objective.
“Seeking an exciting and challenging job with room for growth where I can contribute to the success of an organization.” I know! It sounds like BLAH BLAH BLAH right? Lose the objective and replace it with a Professional Profile. Think of this as your personal elevator pitch.
3. Lengthy Job Descriptions.
Provide an overview of your job duties but keep it to a minimum. This area is best used to describe your accomplishments on the job instead of the job description itself. Your current job should be written in present tense. Previous roles should be worded in past tense, preferably with action verbs as the lead.
2. Incomplete, missing or crazy contact information.
Please make it easy for the hiring authority to contact you. Your phone number and email, at a minimum, must be correct. I still appreciate an address but I understand that many people have a preference not to release this data. As for the email address-make sure it is not an inappropriate email address. Your friends may think booteeshkng@ is hilarious or maybe you’ve had luvlabpups@ for years- but don’t use them for your job search. Upon reading a personal email address I immediately form an impression of you.
Nothing more to say really. There is no excuse. Spelling and grammar must be perfect. Formatting should be consistent. Proofread, proofread and then proofread again. Don’t rely on spell check. Have a second set of eyes review your document.