Saturday, January 1, 2011

What’s Wrong with My Resume?

By Barbara LaBier

Making a good first impression with your resume is the first door to open when applying for a job. If you’ve got technical issues such as misspellings, typos and grammatical errors and formatting problems you will never get your foot in the door. Many of us couldn't survive with out Spell Check and are eternally grateful to Bill Gates---but it  Spell Check doesn't correct for the improper use of words that are spelled correctly.

Beyond these problems there is another list of more complicated issues to work on if you want to get an interviews and be considered as a serious candidate. Here are some typical mistakes found on resumes.
Lack of focus – Frequently, a resume contains a great deal of information about a candidate but there is no real focus on the key themes presented in the job description or developing a sales pitch. The resume may be too general. Through lack of skill or laziness, the applicant has avoided tailoring the resume to fit the job description and tweak their resume to match the job criteria for each job they apply for.

Too much detail- Some times people who have not applied for a job in 20 years find they have a very long, detailed, dated resume. The resume like an ancient scroll has been added to over the years. The product is a detailed mess that does not target the job they are applying for. They require the help of a good editor or resume writer to perform the magic of a facelift to their resume. This entails deleing dated information that does not highlight relevant skills & accomplishments or removing old software and updating antiquated formats.

Too much personal info- People often include too much personal information on their resume such as their marital status, children and hobbies. The writer may also mention that they were Captain of the basketball team in college 20 years ago. At one time, this fact may have indicated leadership skills. However, at this juncture, it seems like they have failed to move on. Since your resume is not meant to be like your Facebook account, this information should be deleted.

Failure to properly highlight accomplishments: Some job candidates have not captured the value they’ve provided at work or assessed the impact they have made through their accomplishments. For example, they could mention how much money they’ve brought in or saved the company or how the projects they initiated benefited their clientele.

Visually boring presentation: The formats of many resumes lack creativity. Most resume formats are changing or have changed. For example, Objectives are out and the Summary is in. It would take an hour or so to search the internet for new formats or view the latest resume books at your local Borders or Barn & Noble bookstore or the library.

Fix Resume Problems

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