Resume tricks that will backfire on you
As a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, over the years I have come across many tacky résumé tricks that candidates use in a misguided effort to stand out. Most recruiters are on to these gimmicks. When you use these tricks, you may appear desperate, or worse yet, dishonest. Avoid them because they do not work and are bound to fail.
1- The Extensive Vocabulary Gimmick
Using big words and lengthy sentences will not help you sound important, especially if they are used incorrectly. Don't hide behind your vocabulary. Your résumé should be an easy read. When your résumé is not concise and direct, the reader gets uncomfortable. Use common words and clear sentences to put the focus on your background and abilities. Make sure to include effective keywords and phrases that you know the reader will be looking for, but stay away from industry-specific buzzwords that may get lost on your recruiter
2- The Case of the Missing Employment Dates
Eliminating your dates of employment to disguise career gaps will not work. Recruiters know that missing dates can only mean one of two things, either you are trying to hide a poor career history or you are just plain careless. Always include employment dates to pass the detailed résumé review. To extend the longevity of your résumé and minimize gaps, consider listing the year only, instead of month and year.
3- Hiding Behind a Functional Résumé
The functional, or ‘skills based’ résumé is designed so that your skills and relevant accomplishments are separated from your employment list and placed upfront. Many job seekers trying to minimize career issues such as gaps in employment use the functional format. If you use this technique, you can be sure a perceptive recruiter will go directly to your career history to try to find what you are hiding. In addition, these résumés tend to be disliked by many recruiters because it is difficult to connect where you did what you did. Avoid the functional format if you can. Whenever possible, use a reverse chronological format to keep your responsibilities and accomplishments under their respective job titles. If you must, use a combination of functional and reverse chronological that will strategically minimize your obstacles and meet your prospective employer’s needs.
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