Frances Brennan. Resume. September 15th , 2017.
Include Irrelevant Info (AKA 'Fluff') - If it's not important, don't add it to your resume. If you were a cook 10 years ago but now you're looking for a job in retail management, don't clutter up your resume with irrelevancy. Try to put yourself in the shoes of the hiring manager and ask yourself what they would see as important. How does your background correspond with their needs as an employer? Anything else is fluff. Don't add your hobbies to your resume. Don't add your references (if they want them, they'll ask at the appropriate time). And don't include your high school education either. Finally, don't be redundant and repeat yourself throughout the context of your resume. It's OK to reinforce themes, but don't push it. If your title has been Branch Manager at each of your past three companies, find a way to differentiate each of these positions and highlight your most notable accomplishments. Don't just copy and paste the line 'Managed a team of branch employees' three times. That will get you nowhere.
Have a Strong Objective Statement - Although this is a matter of some debate these days, I firmly believe a strong, concise Objective Statement can go a long way. First off, it immediately tells the reader what job you are applying for. That can be a big deal when you're submitting your resume to a HR representative who has their hands full with many different job openings. Recruiters as well. And if you're a senior manager, you don't want to get thrown in the pile with the mail clerks, right? Not only that, but an effective Objective Statement will briefly summarize your qualifications so a hiring manager can make an instantaneous decision whether or not to keep reading. They do that anyways, so why not address their needs in the intro and add value by showing them what you have to offer right off the bat. Remember, I'm only talking about one sentence here. One sentence to market yourself. Once sentence to spark their interest. You don't want to give the reader too much to think about, rather you want them to proceed on and read the rest of your resume. So grab their attention, establish your professional identity, show them your value, and let them move on to the good stuff!
Other misconceptions include the use of an objective on the resume and writing detailed job descriptions. A job objective is usually a statement of what the candidate would like to do or the specific job they are seeking. The reason why this is not needed is that the cover letter should express interest in the position and there is no need to state it again. In addition, many objective statements are so specific that the candidate would be ruled out from other potential positions that may be related to the advertised job. In addition, many jobs I have seen listed on resumes includes wording that either came from job descriptions or have been written like standard wording from these types of descriptions, and that doesn't necessarily explain the skills the candidate has and may contain jargon that is not easily understood by everyone reading it.
It is possible that the person who will make this assessment of your qualifications may not know the specifics of the job you've applied for beyond the actual job description, and for better or worse that means your resume must stand out in a way that ensures you are able to move beyond that initial screening. To accomplish this goal you must have a well-designed, well-formatted, and well-written resume that markets your skills, experiences, and education in a manner that creates a connection to the open position. Unfortunately most resumes resemble DIY projects that are easily overlooked and quickly discarded by recruiters. When you consider the highly competitive nature of most careers, you cannot afford to have a resume that sells yourself and/or your career short.
A resume is not just a piece of paper that is meant to list the jobs you've held or the education you've acquired. It is your introduction to a prospective employer and represents the essence of your career, capabilities, and skill sets. When you are interested in a job you have one opportunity to gain the attention of a prospective employer and it is done when you submit your resume. Within a matter of minutes (or more likely seconds) someone will visually scan the resume and make a determination of your potential candidacy for an open position.
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