Friday, October 23, 2009

10 Reasons Why Your Resume Is Not Working

6. You don’t show a clear connection between your past achievements and your future direction. If your resume merely represents your chronology it may be difficult for a hiring manager to understand how your past experience relates to their current position. This is especially true if you are trying to transition to a new job function or industry. Your resume needs to be idiot proof. Be sure to connect the dots between past performance and future value to the organization (I recommend a profile at the top of the resume to accomplish this). No one will connect the dots for you. Take the time to create a clear roadmap from past accomplishments to future value.

7. You have no clue what keywords are. Keywords are the buzzwords or industry terminology that is relevant to your job function or industry. You can source keywords by reviewing job descriptions for positions you would consider applying to and looking for the consistency in these keywords from posting to posting. Many employers use ATS or Applicant Tracking Systems to source candidates and they will only find your resume if the words in your resume correlate to those posted in their job specs.

8. You are uploading a Word version of your resume into a database that requires a text version. Many people make the mistake of taking their formatted Word document and uploading it into a text box on a company website. The format is generally not preserved when you do this and your document will end up looking sloppy and unprofessional. Here are instructions on how to create a text resume.

9. Your resume is made up of big blocks of text that no one wants to read. Imagine going to a website looking for information and being confronted with a homepage with a huge paragraph of text. Would you stay on the site and read everything word for word or would you quickly navigate away in search of a site that enabled you to find the information you are looking for quickly. My guess is you would opt for the later. People who read resumes feel the same way. If they have to muddle through big chunks of text to figure out if you are a potential fit for their job, they will probably navigate away from your resume quickly. Use bullets, bold, shading, or text boxes to highlight critical information and help your reader figure out what you are all about in just a few seconds.

10. Your resume is overwhelming to the reader. If your resume is more than two pages it probably fits into this category. Examine your resume and edit, edit, edit. Do you really need to list the 7 management classes you took in 1987 now that you have been a CEO for the past 10 years? Do you really need to dedicate a full page to your employment experience before 1990? Probably not. Frequently with resumes, less is more.

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