Tiny Cracks In Your Resume That Need AttentionThis article was reprinted with permission from careersolvers.com
I don’t know what it is about resumes. People seem to get so caught up in what they think a resume “should” be that they overlook what a resume can be…an entree to a new role, a new career, a new life. Some people seem to treat their resumes like they are their tax returns…break a rule and get penalized; enter information in a different place and suffer the consequences…it really doesn’t need to be so formulaic…and it shouldn’t be. A good resume is a representation of your strengths, your passion, your dreams…all wrapped up into a compelling message of value. Here are ten mistakes I see people make when writing resumes and some tips for how to avoid these pitfalls.
1. You think there is one acceptable resume format for your industry. I hear this a lot. “In my industry we don’t use resume profiles” or “No one in my industry ever writes a resume that is more than one page.” Usually these “rules” are perpetuated by people who have been using the same format for their resume since they graduated from college ten or more years ago. What worked then won’t necessarily work now. Or they are perpetuated by people who have gotten used to reading resumes that all look the same so they no longer question their value or relevance in today’s market.
2. You think that because you are confident in your writing abilities you can write a good resume. Sure it helps to have a strong command of the English language. But resume writing is less about the actual writing and more about the strategy than many people realize. A resume writer can look at your background objectively, analyze any potential obstacles in your search, and create a strategy that emphasizes your overarching accomplishments and doesn’t dwell on your more difficult to explain roles and transitions.
3. You think using visual elements on a resume is weird. Many of us are used to seeing PowerPoint presentations where charts, graphs, and other visuals are used to create engagement and communicate information succinctly. Why would you think that a presentation of your candidacy should be any different? Visual elements can differentiate you from your competitors, convey a lot of quality information in less space, and position you as a savvy communicator. Here’s an example of a more visual resume.
4. You are using a resume template to convey how special you are. A resume is all about showcasing your unique value. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot by using a stale Microsoft resume template to explain your unique value proposition.
5. You have copied and pasted your previous job descriptions into your resume. The reality is that people in similar jobs perform similar job tasks. An accountant in company A may not have job tasks that are that different than the accountant in company B. Yet the value that each brings to their organization may be totally unique. Minimize content about job tasks and focus on more compelling accomplishments.
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