Julee Eliana Resume December 23, 2015 03:18:48
Everyone Needs a ”Resume Coach”. Can you imagine any competition, serious endeavor, an Olympic athlete or top performer in any field where a coach, consultant or mentor is not employed to achieve excellent results? That is why sports coaches, fitness coaches, executive coaches, sales coaches, life coaches and experts are sought. They provide the strategy, tactics and best practices to quickly and easily achieve results. Yet on many career blogs you will see that, usually to save a few dollars, people often insist on doing their own resumes and their own interview prep without using any type of career coaching. While this do-it-yourself approach may result in finding jobs, in today’s competitive world it usually means a longer job search or a suboptimal result. The questions to ask in a buyers’ market are: ”How can I get a competitive edge?” and ”How do I win this resume game?”
Prospective employers may spend as little as six seconds looking at your resume to make an assessment of your abilities and to match those abilities to their job opening. In those six seconds they do not read every word on the resume! Instead, employers look at the overall format – is it easy to read? Does this resume contain the relevant information to their particular field? Do the first bullets at the top of the resume match their job description? If any of these things do not meet their criteria, they move your resume into the ”bad pile.” Resumes in the bad pile are those resumes that will never be read completely and probably will not be looked at again. Avoid these five resume red flags to make sure you stay out of the bad pile!
Inappropriate pictures: Within the last five years I have seen a definite increase in resumes that include a picture or pictures of the candidate. Interestingly, hiring managers seem to have a difference of opinion regarding the addition of pictures; some hiring managers seem to appreciate being able to visualize a candidate while reading over the candidate’s qualifications, whereas others seem to think that it is a distraction. Personally, I am not a big fan of this practice, as I have seen the most inappropriate pictures that you can imagine! For example, I have received resumes submitted by female candidates where they are photographed with short skirts or showing their décolletage. I have received resumes from male candidates where their pictures show them in casual attire (fishing hats, swim suits, etc.), or worse, in pictures that include their whole family. However, the most inappropriate picture that I have ever seen to date on a resume was one that included a nude photo of the candidate’s genitals! Not only is this the most inappropriate picture imaginable, I have to say it is extremely creepy!! If you are inclined to include a photo on your resume it should be professionally photographed, and should include a head shot with a plain background in professional attire. My professional opinion is that if you are in doubt about the appropriateness of a picture, do not include it!
A stronger, more relevant resume statement would start with a strong action verb: – Managed numerous large and small events, always staying within budget. – * Red Flag Number 2: Resumes that do not have eye appeal. If the resume is not appealing to the eye, you will turn off the prospective reader immediately. No one wants to read a resume that is formatted with tiny font and no white space! White space allows the eye to rest between reading and absorbing the content and it acts as a clue to important information the employer should read with care. At the same time, a resume with too much white space will make it look like you have no relevant experience or skills to offer the employer. Find a happy medium – keep the resume readable and clean while filling the space.
* Red Flag Number 1: Resumes written in third person. Resumes should never be written in third person. Use first person and choose the present or past tense to showcase the most important and relevant information to your employment goals. In the example below, you will see that a resume written in third-person does not have the dynamic impact of a resume written in first-person: Jane Doe is an excellent event manager and never went over budget. The resume statement above does not use action verbs and is not a strong statement of Jane’s abilities. We know this resume is written about Jane because her name is at the top of the document, so there is no reason to keep stating Jane’s name – we need to use that space to sell her abilities to the prospective employer!
Write a Novel and Call it a Resume – I repeat: Do NOT write a novel and call it a resume. Too many people make this mistake. They want to write this wordy, drawn-out thesis outlining their life story and their career aspirations. They have all these skills and accomplishments and they want to include them all in there somewhere, but the problem is most people just don’t know when to stop. Don’t be afraid to leave out some of the details and explore those further in the interview process. My advice is to highlight only those aspects of your background which are most applicable for the job, or types of jobs, you are planning to apply for.