Is this actually the resume you’re submitting or you really just don’t want this job. That’s just one of the things you don’t want a recruiter to think when looking at your resume. Yes, the job search process can be very discouraging at times. The reality is that it’s a recruiters market right now. That means you have to work even harder and smarter to showcase your personal brand. If your resume has been circulating the job boards and email inboxes of recruiters, but you’re not getting any calls, it may be time for a makeover. Find out if you’re guilty of any of these mistakes that will sabotage your brand.
1. There are errors on your resume.
Having blatant typos on your resume simply looks bad. Errors on your resume may not always be an automatic disqualification for a job, but are you willing to take that chance? A recruiter doesn’t care that you were up until two o’clock in the morning making updates. Make sure you give yourself enough time to look over your resume with fresh eyes if you make any changes. When you’ve been working on a document long enough, you just can’t see the errors anymore. Your resume could have “redrum” hidden in there and it still seems perfectly fine (after looking at it for the 15th time.) Also, be careful with spell check. Common mistakes like form versus from or manger versusmanager can easily be overlooked and show carelessness and lack of attention to detail. If you add a new role, make sure the dates and tenses of previous roles are updated as well. Ideally, it’s a good idea to get a reliable second pair of eyes to look over your resume. It’s better for a friend to find your mistakes than a recruiter.
2. Your resume looks like everyone else’s.
Recruiters scan thousands of resumes every day and decide within seconds whether or not they will continue reading. If looking at your resume reminds them of every other resume they have seen before, chances are they won’t look much further. Stop using generic templates on the internet. Your brand is unique so your resume should be as well. It’s fine to search the Internet to get ideas for your resume, but be careful. There are a lot of generic and bad examples mixed in from resources that may not be reliable. Do you know the difference? A good professional resume writer will uncover your marketable skills and tailor your resume based on your brand, industry and objectives. If you’re not able to take the time to do the proper digging and research yourself, it’s worth the investment to have a professional do it for you.
3. You’ve had the same resume since your first real job.
If you’ve been out of college for at least 12 years, but your resume has never changed except to add a new job, “Houston, we have a problem.” Your resume may have been fantastic when it was first written—or not—but it should be an evolving document, even if your job hasn’t changed much.Things and times change. At one point it was standard to start your resume with an “Objective.” Now it’s seen as unnecessary (recruiters care more about your skills and qualifications than the fact that you’re “looking for a HR position in a fast-paced environment…”). Also, terms and techniques that you’ve used before may now be outdated. You’d be surprised to know what has changed since you last circulated your resume. It’s just as important to showcase your personal brand in your resume as it is to list your accomplishments—make sure you’re doing both. Stay on top of industry trends and revisit your resume yearly. What’s the moral of the story? Avoid common mistakes and always let your brand work in your favor.
Article by Marietta E. Gentles a Personal Branding Advocate and Certified Professional Resume Writer for intrapreneurs needing a getaway driver to reach their career destination. With over ten years’ experience climbing through top corporate and government brands as a writer and trainer, her passion is sharing lessons learned along the way.