Michelle Maïwenn Resume May 14, 2019 02:00:00
If you have ever been on a fishing expedition, you know the most successful fishermen use the best, most appropriate bait available. They also have the most lines (and hooks) in the water. A job search is much like a fishing expedition. Your resume represents the bait, and each company that you send your resume to represents a line with a hook that allows you to snag a job. Think of your ideal job as that big fish, the one you can’t wait to brag about to your friends, the one that didn’t get away, and your claim to fame! Just as it is important for a fisherman to use the right bait to attract that big fish, it is imperative that job seekers use the right resume to attract that big job opportunity. During my career as a Corporate Recruiter, I have had the opportunity to review thousands of resumes. Some of those resumes have been stellar; the resume is formatted professionally, well written, and portrays the candidates in their best light. On the other hand, I have also had the unfortunate opportunity to review some of the worst resumes ever written! In fact, some of those resumes were so bad that they have received honorary status on my list of the seven worst things I have ever seen on a resume. These prospective candidates committed what I call the ”Seven Deadly Sins of Resume Writing”:
Unrelated personal interests and hobbies: Several years ago, when writing my first resume, I remember being directed to add my hobbies and interests at the bottom of the resume. These hobbies and interests were supposed to show that I was a well-rounded, interesting person. However, this is no longer the norm. In fact, just as adding an ”Objective” to your resume is outdated, so is adding your personal interests. Recruiters just want the facts of your experience relating to the position. Again, you are wasting a Recruiters valuable time by adding these little tidbits of personal information. In fact, by adding this additional information incorrectly, you take the risk of your resume ending up in a circular file (the one next to the recruiter’s desk that contains the remnants of their lunch!). I have had the unfortunate opportunity to review resumes of candidates who listed their personal interests as ”Jazz Hand Aficionado”, ”Exotic Pole Dancer”, and ”Cat Whisperer”. Really?? What does that have to do with a Sales Manager position? As you can imagine, these prospective candidates were not selected for interview.
DON’T. Misrepresent the Truth – Lying on your resume is never a good idea. You don’t want to start a professional relationship based on the misrepresentation of facts. Just as you would hope the employer is not lying to you about the job requirements, salary, etc, they expect you are not lying to them about your background and/or skill sets. It’s the decent and respectable way to conduct yourself and there is no room for dishonesty in the workplace because, sooner or later, these things always have a tendency to come to the surface. Remember: The truth shall set you free! Use Slang or Jargon – You need to be as professional as possible in the context of your resume if you expect to be taken seriously as a professional. For this reason, you should avoid using familiar lingo, slang, or jargon in your resume. The exception to this rule is when using very industry-specific terminology to describe your particular skills. This can actually help to lend you credit as a knowledgeable individual and an expert in your field, but your such terms wisely and tactfully. Include a Picture – Unless you’re a model or in a professional dependent on physical attributes, I always advise against putting your picture on your resume. In my experience, it can do more harm than good. So keep the formatting of the resume simple and let the hiring manager use their imagination until they call you in for an interview. Plus, your looks should have nothing to do with your professionalism or the credentials qualifying you for the position. In the business world (even legally), your appearance should have no value as a selling point for you as a competent job candidate.
The Anatomy of a Resume with Impact. What gives a resume impact, with regards to standing out among other resumes submitted? It is a resume that can be easily read, displays skill sets that are immediately identifiable as being related to the advertised position, and highlights important accomplishments and achievements. A chronological resume emphasizes what a person is doing now; whereas, a skill set resume represents what a person can transfer from their entire career to this new role. A resume with impact also lists a professional summary at the beginning, in place of a career objective, and this provides career highlights that are relevant to any position. Finally, a highly effective resume will be well-written and formatted, with meticulous attention given to every minor detail. Why Invest in a Professional Writer? Most people are not fully equipped for the task of developing a resume that meets all of the criteria listed above and that is why a professional resume writer is needed. However, my experience has found that a professional writer is not contacted until an attempt has been made to wing it, so to speak, and the results sought have not been obtained. In other words, there have been few or no job calls received. There is a hesitation to pay for the cost of a resume writer, especially when a person is unemployed – and I certainly understand the financial limitations of that situation. What I have found is that anyone who needs a job also needs to make this investment as it is an investment in a career that can yield long term results.
Do not put an Objective section on your resume. Why would you? What value does it add? Space on your resume is limited and is better used to provide a one paragraph (2-3 sentences) summary of your qualifications for the specific position. This summary should include years of experience, types of experience, and highlight the most important technologies related to the position. This section is used to make the resume reviewer’s screening process easier and improve your chances of passing the initial screening. Use it wisely and tailor it for each position. Finally, make sure each job history write-up in your experience history (your job summaries) includes these details as well. When I get into a detailed resume review, one of the first things I do is map the summary to the details. I try to determine where and when you had the required experience for the computer programmer job. If I can’t find it called out in the details, I will assume you don’t have that experience, regardless of what your summary says. It is very important that you to pay attention to these details because, as a reviewer, I most certainly do. The job summaries are the key to getting past the initial resume screening. Take time to make sure the details line up with what you said in your experience summary and technical skills list.
Next step, create a bulleted list of accomplishments in each position using the C-A-R method. For each bullet, follow the C-A-R formula: indicate a Challenge you faced, followed by the Action you took, and identify the Results of those actions. You must ensure that the achievements you include are relevant and significant so that a reviewer won’t read it and say ”who cares.” This is so important. Those who write resumes for a living are very skilled at wording these achievements to sound very impressive and make them relevant. For example: