Joann Hanson. Resume. September 17th , 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.
Write the Experience Summary section of your job resume for each specific position you are seeking. You must state a convincing case as to why you are the perfect candidate. For example, if you were applying for a computer programming job, you should focus your Experience Summary on your computer programming skills and experience and establish yourself as qualified right away. It may be nice that you were in a community play or a scout leader, but it is not relevant and won't get you the job. This ultimate purpose of this section is to quickly make you stand out from other applicants. When drafting your Experience Summary, keep asking yourself if someone else would be able to make the same statements in their own resume. If so, you need to go back and re-work it again. You need to establish your value to the employer and clearly tell them, 'Here is what I can do for you.' Investing your time on this one step will bring huge rewards for you.
Another misconception involves the cover letter, which is often written as several paragraphs in length for people who believe a lot is required on that first introductory page. But that defeats the real purpose of a cover letter and minimizes the time a recruiter is likely to spend reading the resume. A cover letter only needs to express interest in a position and generate a desire within the recruiter to read the attached resume. The underlying reason for these misconceptions is due to the unlimited number of online articles and posts written about resumes, along with templates and samples that are easily accessible. Whenever someone begins to sort through all of these resources the end result is often a patchwork of various themes and styles. What makes this worse is that there are few people who can write objectively about their career and the jobs they have held. As an example, I've written resumes for sales professionals and even professional writers. In addition, many people lack exemplary writing skills. It is not uncommon to observe resumes with uneven font sizes and errors with spelling, grammar, punctuation, capitalization, and other mechanical errors. I've also observed verbose wording, jobs written like a standard job description, and clichés (thinking outside of the box, being a team player, etc.).
One of the first misconceptions that people hold about the use of resumes is that they are never actually read, especially when there are online application forms to be filled out. While this cannot be proven either way, I do know from my own experience as a professional writer that most recruiters do look at the resumes received because it provides a general overview of the candidate's attention to, or lack thereof, details such as the style and type of writing.
As previously noted, employers rarely request scannable resumes anymore. If they utilize an applicant tracking system, they will likely request that your resume be e-mailed, either as ASCII text or as an attachment. E-mail allows the recipient to enter your resume directly into the database, eliminating the extra steps of scanning and OCR.
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