One of the greatest mistakes a candidate can make is to confuse their list of activities or responsibilities for a list of their measurable results. If they get the job based on their activities, they are at risk. Some individuals don’t have the necessary achievements to sustain them in the new job, and then they fall short. That means they have to go back into the marketplace. As a result, they have a very short-term job on their resume and a difficult interviewing situation as to why they couldn’t succeed in their last position.
One of the greatest errors of a hiring manager is to mistake a candidate’s efforts with operational results. For the organization, activity does not equal results. A wrong hire can mean having to replace the new employee within the first year, then having to go through the search and hiring process all over again. That process can take two years, with the loss of performance and momentum.
My experience over the past 30 plus years is that over 80% of resumes focus on the activities or responsibilities of past jobs, rather than concentrating on measurable achievements. The hiring organization publishes what they are looking for in their job description. In order to become a high potential candidate, simply state your actual results on your resume that matches their requirements. In that way, the hiring manager can see the transition of skills and transference of experiences that will increase the probability of success and reduce a hiring mistake.
Being “outcome-driven” should show up on your resume and be the focus of your interviews. It’s what makes your candidacy not only unique, but also compelling. Think about what a hiring manager is ultimately looking for, reflected in these questions:
- Can the candidate do the current job with high performance?
- Can the candidate expand responsibilities and contribute in the future?
- Will this candidate fit into my team, not cause disruptions or negatively affect results?
Other mistakes of a resume:
- If you list all of your career positions beyond 10 years. Industry and technology changes have advanced too far to be relevant in today’s world. You should summarize significant achievements in a short listing.
- If you list all of your educational and professional designations at the top of the resume, which takes up valuable space. Instead, put educational degrees right after your name (B.S., M.A. PhD) along with professional designations or certifications (CPA, EE, PE). All your educational levels can be seen immediately, and detailed later in the resume.
- If you present your resumes in a narrative form with more than two or three sentences per item. Long narratives are boring and lose the interest of the hiring manager. It also hides any meaningful accomplishments in the long text. Make it shorter and more powerful. Use three or four bullet points per job, to make it stand out.
Resumes have only one objective: To get an interview. If your resume isn’t compelling, you’ll be an applicant, not a candidate.
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