Your résumé is more than simply a documentation of your work history—it’s a marketing piece. An advertisement for prospective employers. And, it has the potential to get you great interviews. So it’s important for your résumé to not only showcase your experience and skills, but be carefully crafted to convince those looking to hire to take a chance on you.
From the employers’ point of view, hiring a new employee is a big risk. They need to find someone qualified for the position, but they also want to find a new employee who can adapt to their company culture and who’s smart enough to thrive in the work environment.
When you avoid common résumé pitfalls, you have a much better chance of proving that you’re worth the gamble.
Here are three easily avoidable résumé mistakes:
- Listing an “objective” at the start of your résumé. The original thinking behind this was likely to show employers that you had goals, that you were on the upward path and therefore worth hiring. But it can easily backfire by convincing them that you won’t be satisfied for long with the job you’re applying for, or that your goals are not in line with the needs of the company. Better: Replace the “objective” section with a “summary” that highlights the “soft” skills that are hard to showcase within the “work history” section.
- Listing job duties instead of accomplishments. Your purpose is to show your next boss how you’ll improve the company—not list all the things on your to-do list. Better: Show that you were a valuable asset to the company. If you can quote impressive statistics such as “increased sales by 20% in a three-month period,” that’s far more powerful than “managed sales staff.”
- Including irrelevant information. Throwing in a personal tidbit can breathe a little life into your résumé, but don’t overdo it. Employers don’t need to know that you have a karate black belt, you grew up on a ranch in Wyoming, and you spend your weekends gardening. Unless those are all vital to your prospective job, they don’t all need to be there. Better: Choose one item of interest to place at the bottom of the résumé, but that’s it.
If you need further help creating a standout résumé, we’d love to help showcase your unique skills and experience. Whether you’re creating a backup résumé in case of need or you’re job hunting right now, Gemstone Media’s affordable rates make it easy to get the best résumé you’ve ever had. Contact us for details.
Monelle Smith blogs for Gemstone Media. Follow @GemstoneMedia