Sometimes we hurt ourselves without really knowing it. A bad resume is one of those times. Here are some ways we hurt our chances of finding a better job, and what to do about it.
OVERUSED WORDS – Self-congratulatory words diminish your candidacy, like: Highly qualified, hard worker, problem solver, people person, self-starter, and so on. Your professional references should use these words, not you. Rather, define your achievements, like: Increased revenue by 10.2% within 15 months, or reduced cost by 3.7% through process improvement.
YOU MAY BE REJECTED BECAUSE:
- You don’t match up with the requirements of the open position. You can save yourself a great deal of disappointment if you parallel at least 70% of the position description. Anything less and your wasting your time. The higher the percent the greater your chances.
- You don’t fit the culture. Everyone has a “sweet spot”: An industry and organization where they are comfortable and can contribute. The further out from your core, the more difficulty.
- Your expectations are too high. Most hiring managers won’t take a risk with someone below a 60% chance of success, and only with someone who has been successful before.
- Your resume reads well for the hiring manager but not for his boss. The bosses boss is usually looking for a longer term contributor which may not be on the position description
- Your resume and your social media information are not compatible or say different things. The hiring organization won’t take the time to sort it out when they have other candidates.
RESUMES ARE TOSSED IMMEDIATELY:
- If you send a photo or a “head shot” as part of your resume. The company is only interested in your achievements, not looks. However, Germany, France and Italy seek photos
- Resumes that have large gaps in the work history. Unless you can explain “holes” in your resume, companies won’t take the time to hear your story.
- Negative comments in your resume are poison to hiring organizations. You want to build a positive image of your achievements, not negative comments about bosses or employers
- If you list your “demands” on the resume, chances it will be tossed, like: “I’m looking for a Directors title”, or a compensation level above the going rate, or other front-end demands
- E-mail addresses that are frowned upon, like:, or Joker12 @….., or JustMarried@…… or BurningRubber@… and so on. Use an email address that projects a professional persona.
- Paragraphs and narratives that run on too long without defining achievements or results. Just listing activities or responsibilities does not impress hiring managers. They usually find them boring and commonplace among all the other resumes. Yours resume must stand out.
Your resume and the words you use must project competence and potential. Identify your contributions, market your results, then minimize the things that diminish your image and you’ll do great.
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