September 7, 2014

This Is Why Your Resume Is Terrible

Take a minute and pull up your resume. Pretend that you are a hiring recruiter and browse through it. Would you hire you? Why or why not?

This is an important exercise to do every time you apply for a job. It’s challenging to take a step back and judge yourself. It’s helpful because it will encourage you to be critical of your resume. Maybe you’ll be more inclined to make some changes before you send it off.

Remember that the resume is your golden ticket. In a way, your resume will help determine your future. It’s true. The first opinion a recruiter has of you comes directly from your resume. Spend the time to make it look spectacular.

Need some resume tips?

At some point, we have all sent in a sloppy resume. We whipped together our education, experience, certifications, and sent off a less than impressive resume. It happens and guess what? You probably didn’t get the job.

Writing a resume is time consuming. It’s something you should maintain at all times – even when you have a job. You should make changes to your resume when you:

  • Receive an award
  • Change job titles
  • Switch companies
  • Earn a certification
  • Join a professional organization
  • Perform well at work
  • Achieve a specific metric

Most people don’t do this. They wait until they need a resume and slap it all together, which means most people have sloppy resumes. Here’s why most resumes are not impressive:

  • Listing Low Level Skills – Recruiters are not impressed with simple skills like math, reading, typing, or very basic French. Low level skills are a waste of resume space and are not likely to get you hired.
  • Including an Objective – If you haven’t written a resume in a few years, objective statements are now frowned upon.
  • Not Using Keywords – Take an extra minute and reread the job listing. Be sure to include some of the keywords from the listing in your resume. Often computers will sift and sort resumes based solely on keywords.
  • Not Listing Metrics – Be specific about your performance. If you boosted sales by 212%, say so. That’s impressive and shows that you are a top performer with attention to detail.
  • Making It Impersonal – You need to customize your resume to the job that your seeking. Don’t list your years as a rodeo clown higher on the list than years as an investment banker if you’re trying to get a bank job.
  • Forgetting Contact Info – If you don’t have your contact info listed, the recruiter can’t contact you! Find out what other things people forget to include on their resume.
  • Typos – One simple typo will highlight that you lack attention to detail. Please proofread!
  • Poor Design or Format – If you try to cram in to much info your resume looks crowded and is hard to read. If you don’t write enough, it looks like you don’t have any experience. Find the happy medium. Make sure the resume looks visually appealing and hits on all of your strengths. And be sure to choose the right resume format.

These are things that make you resume weak. They are also the things that get your resume tossed in the bin. If you want a job, make sure your resume is ready to go. Make it impressive and you’ll find that it is way easier to get to the interview round.

Did you know you can manage a digital copy of your resume online at JobMonkeyJobs for free? Take advantage of the Resume Manager today.

About this Author 

Derek Lennon is a skier and writer who lives, works, and plays in the mountains. He travels the globe in search of snow and adventure. Life has allowed him to live and work all over the world doing cool jobs and loving every minute of it.

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