We learn a new commandment almost every month to perfect your resume. And when you only have seconds to make the right impression, you have to make every word on your resume count. With limited time, anything you do to make your resume easier to skim could mean the difference between the forward or toss piles.
Gear up for a complete resume detox with Monster’s ultimate list of don’t’s that you need avoid in 2017.
1. Using An Unprofessional Email Address Sharing your ‘out-of-high-school’ email addresses (which you think is cool) is an absolute NO. It looks very unprofessional and may cause readers to doubt your professional credibility. A good rule of thumb for this one is to incorporate some variation of your first and last name.
2. Listing Multiple Phone Numbers Your resume may not necessarily list all your contact numbers. The more phone numbers you introduce, the easier it is to miss calls or text messages from a prospective employer. To keep it simple, include your primary line that has a professional voicemail greeting in case you’re not around to answer the call.
3. Falsifying Gaps In Employment Job seekers must refrain from fudging dates of employment to mask any gaps. Please remember that any misrepresentation can easily be verified through the human resources department. Every statement should lead the employer to conclude that you are most suited for the job. Your goal is for the recruiter to spend most of their time reviewing significant and relevant experiences rather than wasting time over inapt references.
4. Adding Generic Skills You must be precise and clear when listing your qualifications and skills. This might need a bit of research on relevant industry jargon to ensure you’re speaking the right language. For example – listing skills like ‘Microsoft Word’ or ‘Internet’ is a big no for any job application. It sets a pretty low bar for yourself in the eyes of the recruiter. Most HR managers expect you to already have familiarity with a software suite that has been around since (beginning of) the Internet. Instead, use this crucial space to highlight skills that actually make you stand out.
5. Non-Recruiter Friendly Format In most cases, recruiters don’t read your resume top to bottom anymore - they’re constantly skimming and looking at different parts of the page. If you don’t structure your resume to appeal to that, a lot of noteworthy accomplishments will end up getting overlooked. Ensure you use bolded text to highlight your achievements.
6. Don’t ‘Copy-Paste’ Job Descriptions Avoid taking exact phrases straight from the job description online. If a company says it’s looking for candidates who “coding” and “have a deep knowledge of programmatic ads,” your skills section shouldn’t read “coding” and “deep knowledge in programmatic ads”. Instead, tailor the resume by find a different way of saying the same thing. You can devote a bullet to list the software you learned in two weeks.
While you must have invested hours to perfect your resume, a smart strategy for your review process is to stay focused on two key areas – keywords and quantifying your achievements. Moreover, your resume should be a smart compilation of your skills and accomplishments; else it’s just distraction.
And if all these elements are strategically packaged in one page, in a language that responds to the hiring manager's biggest needs, you'll be well on your way to landing your next opportunity.
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