As one of the keystone pieces of your professional “brand,” your resume says a great deal about you – and you have plenty of creative room to create a document that will highlight your best work in front of top employers.
“Plenty” of creative room, however, doesn’t mean total freedom. There are still several mistakes that will get your resume sent to the circular file, no matter how well it is organized, designed, or produced. Make sure your resume contains no trace of these common errors:
Once upon a time, fitting as many words into your resume as possible was thought key to getting a job. But too many words is, well, too many! Try to fit too much in your resume and you’ll bury the achievements and abilities that answer a hiring manager’s number one question: “How would this person benefit us?”
How many words are “too many”? Have a trusted friend or colleague skim the document. If they can’t repeat back your best strengths or key selling points after a quick read-through, they’re buried in verbiage. Cut words for a cleaner resume.
While you’re cutting words, keep your eyes peeled for business jargon and buzzwords that don’t clearly describe what you did, how you did it, or what your results were. Phrases like “results-oriented professional,” “motivated self-starter,” or “strategic thinker” don’t add value; they just clutter up your resume. Instead of stating them, demonstrate them by referring to specific projects and outcomes that demonstrate your commitment to results, your inner driver, or your planning and strategy skills.
Jumbled Job Descriptions – or Just Plain Too Long
Most hiring managers will look at your resume for only a few seconds. If it’s not clear what career path you’re on in that brief time, your resume will end up in the reject pile without a second look.
The best way to avoid this problem is never to rely on a single resume for multiple applications. Instead, spend time editing your resume for each job and company that will receive it. Include the positions, duties, and achievements that show how you’re on the career path for this job and where you’ve already learned the skills required to succeed in it. (Don’t know which skills you need most? Reread the job description or ask your recruiter.)
Also, keep your resume to no more than two pages. A single page is ideal.
The dedicated SoCal recruiters at Marquee Staffing can help you fine-tune your resume, so it shows off your best skills and accomplishments to potential employers. Contact us today to learn more.