Planning Your First Resume

First Make Sure The Fault Lies Within Your Resume

  • Resume getting few or no responses - Don't condemn your resume right away. It's possible you just don't fit into the position you're seeking. You may need further education, or retraining. On the other hand, maybe the fault lies squarely with your resume. In that case, you're in the right place!
  • Resume getting responses but no interviews - Again, the problem may be something other than your resume. If you've gotten a nibble from an interviewer from a telephone chat but it leads to no first interview, the problem could be in your telephone technique. Or maybe the human resources representative sees through you, and she/he instinctively feels that you're not what you portrayed in your resume. That's all the more reason to make your resume reflect the real you - truthful and in command of your destiny.
  • Resume getting first interviews, but falling down in the clinches - Once more, you may simply not fit in. If you've oversold or undersold yourself on paper, it comes through loud and clear during the initial interview. Review it for sale advertising; check out your interview skills - and your deodorant.
  • "Always a bridesmaid, but never the bride" - If your resume gets you in the door more than once, it's time to review your resume with a fine-tooth comb. When you're that close, there are usually very small differences that result in the offer being extended. If you can increase your chances by even one percent, it can make the crucial difference. A resume makeover can help by guiding the interviewer through your accomplishments and emphasizing them in comparison to other candidates'.
If Your Current Resume Isn't Working, Why Not?

Sine of commission...sins of omission - there are so many things that can leaf to the reject pile. Here are the ten most common:
  • Too long - This is probably the most frequent error. You don't have to put everything down - it counts against you. With few exceptions, your resume is far more likely to attract favorable notice when you limit its content to one well-drafted page. 
  • disorganized - With no recognizably consistent format, it's too hard to find the important information.
  • Overly wordy - Are your sentences too long? Paragraphs too dense? Are you using three words when one precise one will do?
  • Lacks essential results or accomplishments - In my last article What a Resume Needs To Be and Need Not To Be I spoke about quantifiable achievements. Without them, you're missing strong selling points. You "saved your current employer x dollars with cost cutting measures in office supply purchases." You "founded a specialty photographic laboratory and sol it just three years later for a substantial profit." You get the picture.
  • Too bare-bones - Job-seekers who feel that "name, rank and serial number" or employer, job title, and dates of employment constitute a full-blown resume are wrong. And they never get called.
  • Irrelevant information - You cn do more harm than good with data like age, height, wieght, hobbies, even certain telling information about schools or organizations. Look at it this way: You're selling the professional aspect of your life... period. Employers don't want to know your golf handicap, and they have no right to other personal information. The rules have changed. 
  • Unprofessional appearance - Poor typing, poor printing - even with the beset qualifications, you can't get past a sloppy presentation.
  • Misspellings, poor grammar, and other gaffes - I've met personnel people who immediately consign a resume to the reject  stack just because of misspelled words. It may not be fair, but it's real life. You should read the finished resume twice, and then have an individual whose spelling and grammar you respect proof it. that disinterested eye usually catches hidden errors.
  • The Glitz effect - Fancy binders are a waste of money and don't fit in manila files. Photographs and unusual paper colors are a deterrent rather than a benefit. If in doubt, leave it out. Stick to the proven formats.
  • Misdirected to incorrect individuals - sometimes it's not the human relations department to whom you should be sending. It might be the department head.

2 comments:

filmare nunta said...

This is really a good piece of advice! Thx

Blogmaster said...

Your welcome. As long as you know how to make a good resume - with the right one, you'll get your desired position.