Friday, October 23, 2009

7 Resume Writing Mistakes to Avoid

3. Dull job descriptions – Here is where many people make a big mistake! They sit down just list out their normal daily routine and plug that into a resume. Now it can be an important part of the resume to describe in detail what you have done. Reason being, in the age of the internet hiring managers are searching for certain keywords so you do want to be descriptive on your resume. However, look at it with fresh eyes and be sure that the whole resume is not just one long boring job description.

SOLUTION: You MUST use achievements in your resume! Make sure there is an achievements section to your resume. This can either be displayed separately at the beginning of the resume before the work history section or you can plug it under the various positions. This is critical as it will tell the hiring manager what you are capable of!

Also, be sure you are descriptive. Don’t just say you saved the company money by improving a process. Instead say, “Saved $1.4 million yearly by improving…..” Be clear when you list out an acheivement. Don’t underestimate this section of your resume.

4. Poor organization – Some people get in a rush and just hurry through the resume building process. If you want an effective resume then you have to give it some thought. You must use words that are powerful and evoke an emotion and there must be a logical flow to the overall resume. Isn’t this basic marketing 101? Why wouldn’t it be true in a resume. Now, you need not to go over the top and get “gimmicky” with your resume, but I think you know what I mean.

SOLUTION: start off each bullet point with a strong action verb. Use strong action words like created, initiated, saved, accelerated, launched, executed, strengthened, broadened, etc. These are all great verbs that can make you stand out on a resume.

5. Spelling/ Grammar mistakes - This is a big one. I have seen great candidates not make it to the interview phase because of simple typos. Quite frankly, I have even received some pointed and direct emails from readers because they found a typo in my blog post. Of course, I appreciated them letting me know and made the correction, but this is a blunder that can happen very easily if you are not careful. You can even re-read your resume a few times and miss the typo or the grammar mistake.

SOLUTION: Get someone else to look at your resume. Fresh eyes will see things that you had not noticed. Most of the time it can be the wrong use of a word that a spell checker would never catch. Most of us are connected to a teacher in some way and I would encourage you to reach out to them. I am sure that either someone in your family is a teacher or maybe even a friend might be one. Email them your resume and ask if they would read it over and let you know about any area in your resume that needs improvement.

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