Monday, November 8, 2010

Top 5 No-No's When Writing Your Resume

I'm sure most of you have spent time researching resume writing tips and how to write a good resume. However, we often times forget that small resume blunders will overshadow even the best academic/professional accomplishments. With this in mind, I present to you the top 5 resume no-no's resume writers should avoid - at all costs!

Blunder #5: Describing Job Duties Rather Than Accomplishments
A lot of people often list out their job duties and responsibilities, but that doesn't tell employers your real capabilities.
The Cure: Go beyond just listing your role. In this case, it's OK to brag that you brought in more clients than previous personnel in your position. Use specific examples and numbers to demonstrate how you excelled beyond the basic job requirement. Go ahead, brag about those awards and special recognitions you received. But be tactful in your bragging. Employers like accomplished candidates, but they don't like excessive braggers either.

Blunder #4: Using "I" or "Me" on Your Resume
Remember: There's no "I" in resume. Well, there's "me," but you shouldn't use that either. Reason for that is because resumes are a form of formal business communication. Just like writing a research paper. Professionals don't do this, so you shouldn't either.


Blunder #3: Not Including a Career Summary or an Objective Section
A career summary is a great way to package your skill level, past experience, and professional accomplishments into one tight little 3-sentences-or-less package. It's the first thing recruiters see, and it can make or break your resume. Not having one is like not being able to answer the question "Tell me about yourself" during an interview.
The Cure: As part of your initial preparation, check out other job descriptions to determine what's important to employers. Make a list of those skills, experience, and education, and then see if you match any of those points. Include matching points into your summary and make sure that your statement reflects the qualifications directly related to the position.

Blunder #2: Not Using Industry-Specific Keywords
Your dream job may not be exclusive to those within your desired industry anymore, thanks to the Internet. Everyone can apply, which means that companies get hundreds, if not thousands of resumes for each job posting, even from people outside of the industry. For this reason, more companies are turning to resume programs that scan through the electronic copies of submitted resumes for desired keywords. If your resume doesn't contain a percentage of keywords, you are out.
The Cure: Take the time to research your company and similar positions to the one you're interested in. Look at the job activities, qualifications, requirements, and see which words are popular within your desired industry. Then, sprinkle those industry-specific keywords throughout your resume and Voila! You got yourself a industry-relevant resume!

Blunder #1: Typos
The most underrated blunder one can commit. As carreer advisor would say, "One typo can land your resume in the garbage."
The Cure: Proofread, proofread, proofread! Have others look over your resume as well. More eyes on the document means less chance of a typo getting through. Remember, recruiters judge your competency based on your resume and therefore it should be PERFECT!


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