Friday, October 23, 2009

7 Resume Mistakes You Didn't Realize

Resume Mistake #3 – Focusing on Responsibilities Instead of Results

Don’t provide a laundry list of responsibilities without showing what results you achieved. Most employers already know what the main responsibilities of your job were. They want to know what makes you different from all the other applicants.

An effective resume summarizes job responsibilities in a few sentences and then provides details of quantifiable achievements.

Resume Mistake #4 – Not Being Specific

You must place your achievements in context by providing specifics. For example, don’t say something vague like “contributed to product design.” This tells the employer nothing about your actual contribution. Instead be specific about what you did:

“Conducted market analysis for (name of product) to determine design and mechanics. Led changes to original design spec. despite initial internal objections. Received critical acclaim and sold over 4 million units.”

See how being specific makes a difference? This level of detail shows the reader the contributions you have made in the past and therefore the contributions you can be expected to make in the future.

Resume Mistake #5 – Poor Design and Layout

At least 50% of the impact of your resume derives from design. A strong resume design will pull the eye through the document, making it easy to keep reading and will highlight your key strengths clearly. But if your resume is badly laid out, disorganized or hard to read, it will be discarded before the reader knows how qualified you are.

To see examples of good designs, check out our sample resumes. Take time to understand how the page has been laid out and then apply what you’ve learned to your resume.

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