Trolling through hundreds of profiles a day teaches you a thing or two about what stands out and what goes straight to the trash folder.
The data compiled below came from the review of over 20,000 resumes in 2014. While most of the ideas listed below should work, there are always exceptions to the rule so make sure these apply to you before you make any resume changes.
Here is what you need to AVOID and HOW.
1. Career Objective: While we thought this trend would go away, unfortunately it has returned in full force like haircuts from the 80’s have. The “Objective” on your resume needs to go and it needs to go right now! Nothing shows that you’re out of touch with the current employment market like a resume objective does.
Here is what you should do: Title the opening paragraph ‘Professional Summary’ or ‘Executive Summary’. Give the employer a brief overview of your background, achievements and simply why you’re just plain awesome. This 3-to 4-sentence paragraph is a time to brag. They don’t need to hear about what you are seeking. You are seeking a job, hopefully a career, they know that!
2. Length Doesn’t Equal Importance: Guess what: your 4-page resume doesn’t make you worth R30,000 more than a 1 or 2 page resume. It’s not impressive to have a long resume unless it warrants the length as some CV’s need to be with patents, publications, etc. We now live in the SMS Text and Twitter age, get to the point while still sounding like you understand English.
The Damage: In 2015 a long resume says you're winded, you cannot communicate effectively, you may think you are more important than you are and lastly, you’re the type that just likes to hear yourself talk. None of these are likable traits and in the quick to judge world we live in, people can make these assumptions by scanning a long resume in less than 20 seconds. There is a time and place for a long resume or CV, but only for a handful of instances.
3. 1999 What?: Do you recall what was going on in 1999? Windows 98 still dominated the market, we didn’t have the iPhone, no Facebook,
VHS tapes still controlled the market, everyone was worried about the year 2000 computer crash, and for some, they remember the Limp Bizkit song 1999. So what makes you think people care about what you were doing in 1999 on your resume?
How To Handle It: The new rule is, the last 10 years is enough. Unless you transitioned into multiple fields where old experience is now relevant or you worked for some great company like Apple and want to display it, no one really cares what you were doing in 1999. And guess what? Ageism is a huge problem these days so if the 90’s are bad, jobs in the 80’s are even worse. If you have to you can do a hybrid Functional \ Chronological Resume to show the last 10 years of work but also use the functional area to show other experience you had 15 or 20 years ago.
4. “These are my responsibilities”:Another trend that was fading but came back into style in 2014 was listing job duties and responsibilities on a resume. Many people using online templates have just copied and pasted lines from job descriptions and put them on their resume. In short that essentially tells an HR screener you are lazy or just did not want to put the effort into finding a career.
If you are a Senior Buyer and you have a line that states, “Duties included the selection of vendors, cutting PO’s and buying MRO’s” don’t you think the hiring manager already knows that it was your job to do those things based on your title?
Did you make the place better?: Instead of telling the hiring manager what he already knows, show them what impact you had on your department or business. Instead of duties say, “Identified strategic vendors which lowered costs by 9% while also lowering raw material lead time by 7 days across 15 locations”.
5. Distractions on Resumes: Links or photos on resumes are the equivalent of a teenager texting and driving. You put together a great resume that sells you the best it can, your personal brand of being known as the person that gets stuff done resonates greatly, then some superficial, overly judgmental screener or hiring manager see’s your pic and stops reading all those great things about you and moves onto the next resume.
And, the same thing happens when you have links on your resume. You have a great focus where you want them to hone in on your great resume presentation then you send them off to your LinkedIn page where you haven’t fully updated it or had someone proofread.
Eye on the prize: Screeners look at hundreds of resumes before passing on a handful to the hiring manager. You don’t want to give them a reason to easily screen you out by what you are wearing, your haircut, age or even race. You also don’t want them digging into your social media. Keep your resume content driven, easy to read, focusing on accomplishments without being wordy. If they want to dig deeper on Google let them, but don’t encourage it.
Should you want some more tips and advice on how to write your best CV contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Once you are ready to put your best foot forward check out our job vacancies
Ref: Kristin Scarth Career Services Manager, Professional Resume Writer and Sourcing Specialist
How Good Management Is Like Peanut Butter and Jelly
December 15, 2015
Why Zuckerberg's Paternity Decision Could Send More Women Into Tech
December 4, 2015
3 Steps to Get the Hiring Manager or Recruiter to Respond