It’s estimated there are 6 job seekers for every job opening in the market today. That’s not very good odds. However, any one can cut those odds in half instantly, simply write a decent resume!
I realize that I have a resume writing 101 entry on our site already, but in my mind I can’t tell people enough how important it is to write a clean, interesting and job worthy resume!
There is a bit of competition out there right now; people are unemployed, or looking to change jobs finally as the economy becomes more stable. Think of this when writing your resume. Those that have the most readable resume will rise above the rest.
The following are just a few things I’ve noticed about resumes over the last little while that I am finding over and over again. In a more competitive job environment, these ‘blunders’ are not helping anyone while searching for a new opportunity. Take a read:
- Spell check, spell check, spell check!! I (obviously) can’t stress this enough. Grammar is another huge one too! If you don’t understand how to use there, their or they’re in a sentence – I really encourage you to ASK SOMEONE! Don’t assume you know – it’s okay! Assuming just makes a donkey out of you….and well, yep, just YOU!
- Unless you don’t have any work experience – your ‘job/volunteer’ experience as a team sport coach, or a day camp counselor for the summer of ’93, ’94 and ’95 isn’t relevant anymore! Keep it current!
- Act professional, be professional, but your resume isn’t professional looking? Big problem! Be aware of your tabs, bullets and overall formatting of your resume, your coverletter and even the EMAIL that you send to prospective employers. This can make or break a good resume! FIRST IMPRESSIONS PEOPLE! Getting a resume with different font styles, sizes, alignment, margins etc is just sloppy and won’t get you further than the ‘G’ file……(for garbage in case you didn’t get it….).
- I understand, you want to portray yourself as a well rounded individual, but it is really NOT NECESSARY to write your hobbies down. From airplane models, to synchronized swimming – we don’t need to know!
- Picture Perfect? Maybe not! This is another no-no in my mind. An individual picture of you belongs on a passport – NOT YOUR RESUME!
- If this is one of your first jobs – I’d like to give some advice to the young job seekers out there too – be mindful of your job titles. Even though, yes your real job title was “Shooter Girl”, how about either leave that experience off, or if you feel you need to keep it, replace it with; Waitress, Hostess, Server, bar assistant…. I’m sure any of those mentioned will do just fine!
- I know, we are all lazy creatures at heart – but come on! Using a template that has worked for you in the past is fine (I guess), but make sure to change the contact name on it! Surely nothing looks worse than addressing to the wrong person. Surely you can see my point and oh, DON’T CALL ME SHIRLEY either!
- Again with the laziness. I know, it’s easy and quick to write things in TEXT TALK – C U soon, or signing the end of your letter with TTYL – just to name a few, but again NOT PROFESSIONAL! Save it with your buds – not your potential employer!
- You know how ‘they’ say, “don’t sweat the small stuff”? Well, SWEAT IT when it comes to your resume, your cover letter and even the email you send! Be conscious of all the little details! It’s the extra details, or lack of them that will make or break your resume.
- Finally some less critical advice! Social media can play a part in your career search. Why not create a LinkedIn account to check out potential employers? It would really impress employers, if you had some recommendations from past employers, co workers, or clients on Linked In- they actually hold weight if it’s from the right person.
I know you’ve got a lot to offer. You’ve got some great experience – so don’t ruin a great opportunity with a bad resume – that’s all I’m saying.
Follow me on Twitter – @andrea_duggan