Submitting your resume isn’t about sweating out an all-purpose document in job speak. Nor is it about submitting it to every place you can find – especially on a “what the heck” basis. Your resume is your personal marketing piece. It’s what gets you in the door. If you want the interview, make sure your resume isn’t representative of any of these 8 errors.
1. A BLAND OR GENERIC OBJECTIVE
If your objective could be applied to a marketing resume as easily as a resume for an accounting position, then your objective says nothing and will get you nowhere. An objective is NOT some required paragraph at the top of the page that is an exercise in 5 lines of job speak. It’s an actual and real description of your skills as they’re related to who you are and what you want. It should vary with the type of job for which you are applying.
2. BLAND JOB DETAILS
“Responsibilities included overseeing construction of 4 Hilton Hotels in Tri-City Metro Area, each 50 floors in height.” Yeah? So what? That doesn’t say if they went up on schedule or if you brought the projects in under budget. It doesn’t say if you took all four from site work up or if the guy handling two of the four hotels was fired and you were promoted to overseeing all four. Differentiate yourself from the others coming in to interview. If you don’t tell the hiring company how you will be an asset to them, how will they know?
3. ANOTHER JOB, ANOTHER PARAGRAPH
Don’t keep adding on to your resume job after job, year after year. By the time you’re in your 40s, you need to have weeded out some of the earlier stuff. You don’t need all the college activities, just your degree. You don’t need ALL 5 bullets for each of your first two jobs.
4. IT’S NOT A STORY!
Don’t – whatever you do, DON’T – write your resume in the third person!
5. SKIP THE PERSONAL INFO
You might think your weekend baseball coaching or your church choir participation shows you’re an interesting and well-rounded person, but they’re irrelevant. If the interviewer wants to know who you are as a person, aside from the job interview and your qualifications, he or she will ask.
6. DEGREE DATE
No matter how old you are, don’t leave the date of when you were graduated off your resume. It looks like you’re hiding something (well, you are, aren’t you?), and then everyone counts the years backwards and tries to figure out how old you are. Sometimes you can be ruled out – just for leaving the date off. If you’re trying to hide your age by not stating the date, what else might you not be forthcoming about?
7. SPELL CHECK, SPELL CHECK, SPELL CHECK
Spell checking visually by you AND someone else, any fewer than three times, isn’t enough. And don’t forget to check your punctuation.
8. RESUME VISUALS
Ivory paper. Black ink. Individual pages. No plastic, 7th grade, science report cover with the plastic slider or metal push down tabs. Your name centered at the top, not on a cover page that says “Introducing Clifton Lewis Montgomery III”. No exceptions. Your resume is a professional document, not a school book report or an art project. Until every resume is done this way, yours will still stand out in the crowd.
You are the product, and your resume is the marketing piece. To find your perfect job you must differentiate yourself from the other people who will be interviewed.
Your resume must be specific, individualized, easy to skim so it invites a closer reading, and focused on the differences you’ve made with your previous companies, as well as the accomplishments you’ve achieved with – and for – them. This tells the hiring company what you can do for them – and it is about the hiring company, not you.