How to turn resume errors on their heads

09.19.2013


How to turn resume errors on their heads
How to turn resume errors on their heads

Everybody makes mistakes - the key is to learn from them. In the job application process, there are many inherent opportunities to make errors, but discovering how to capitalize on mistakes can only help you when it comes to finding a job.

It may seem like a good idea to try an unusual or unique resume idea to get past the initial difficulty of hiring managers' attention spans, as 20 percent of managers spend less than 30 seconds looking at a resume and 40 percent spend less than a minute, according to Forbes. However, it's best to keep things simple and tailored for the specific job you're looking for, as many employers may not want to see their job candidates' originality as much as they want to make sure they'll be able to do the job.

"Every hiring manager has seen a resume that was a bit 'out there'," vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder, Rosemary Haefner, told the news source. "These job seekers are probably trying to be clever and stand out, but it often backfires and that resume usually goes straight to the 'no' pile."

Instead, keeping a basic and professional resume on file, and modifying it for each specific position to exemplify specific achievements, will be much more effective in ensuring you demonstrate your skills with little exaggeration. Clean, clear writing and formatting are also huge aspects of the resume - keeping things relevant and appropriate for the position is a must. Overly descriptive details or humorous anecdotes are only necessary when they're directly connected to the job at hand, and even then it's a better idea to save them for the interview.

What managers hate, and how to take advantage
Additionally, CareerBuilder found that there are plenty of errors that can make them dismiss a candidate from being hired. As a result, doing the opposite will get you in their good graces. Around 58 percent of employers will dismiss resumes with typos, for instance, which means proper and detailed editing is a must. As well, more than 30 percent of employers will be excited to see personalized resumes. They'll additionally be looking for a list of relevant skills you've gained from different work experiences, little text remaining from the initial job listing and professional-sounding email addresses throughout the text.

Many managers will also be looking for a resume that contains exact dates of employment, and while you may not have planned to send them in such formats, they will also be against resumes with visual accompaniment, which include decorative paper and photographs.

Cliches, passive phrases and accomplishments
Hiring managers will also desire that your resume has somewhat original language included in its descriptions, according to IT World. Cliches like "result-oriented," "self-motivated" and "team player" have all been cited as specific phrases that are a dime a dozen in the hiring climate. Instead, try to make your resume's language fit the tone and text of the job posting while remaining somewhat original. Action verbs that describe your responsibilities in a much more professional format will especially help your efforts as opposed to indirect, passive phrases - instead of saying you were "responsible for management," simply saying "managed" will save time and help you stand out in your manager's mind.

Having a text-only resume is definitely important when it comes to online job applications, as the formatting of text boxes will harm your chances in their differences from Word documents. At the same time, your accomplishments in past positions are what hiring managers want to see on the page, so take pride in them. Minimizing your accomplishments may seem like a good option when it comes to describing a former job, but taking ownership of your responsibilities will be drastically better in the long run.

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