RESUMES … eliminate MISTAKES!

Resume Waste BasketLaszlo Bock, SVP, People Operations at Google says that they receives as many as 50,000 resumes in a single week. He sees the same mistakes made again and again by candidates, any one of which can eliminate them from consideration for a job. The problem is that, in a fiercely competitive labor market, hiring managers don’t need to compromise on quality.

Here are his top 5 mistakes and how to correct them:

Mistake 1: Typos.
Watch for subject and verb agreement, punctuation, and date alignment. Employers interpret “typos” as a lack of detail-orientation and a failure to care about quality. Do this: Read your resume from bottom to top: reversing the normal order helps you focus on each line in isolation. Or have someone else proofread closely for you.

Mistake 2: Length.
A three or four or ten page resume simply won’t get read closely. A crisp, focused resume demonstrates an ability to synthesize, prioritize, and convey the most important information about you. The purpose of a resume is to get you an interview. Do this: Edit your resume if it is too long. A good rule of thumb is one page of resume for every ten years of work experience.

Mistake 3: Formatting. Formatting can get garbled when moving across platforms. Saving it as a PDF is a good way to go. Unless you’re applying for a job such as a designer or artist, your focus should be on making your resume clean and legible as follows: At least ten point type, half-inch margins, white paper, black ink, consistent spacing, aligned columns and your contact information should be on every page. Do this: View your resume on several platforms, such as Google Docs and Word, and then attach it to an email and open it as a preview. Your resume should be as “machine” readable as possible.

Mistake 4: Confidential information. Do not provide or allude to any confidential information. This signals to an employer should not hire this candidate … unless they would like their trade secrets made available to competitors. Do this: Use the New York Times test: if you wouldn’t want to see it on the home page of the NYT with your name attached (or if your boss wouldn’t!), don’t put it on your resume.

Mistake 5: Lies. Even CEOs, get fired for this.
Don’t do this: Some of the common lies are degrees, GPAs (rounding up), schools attended, tenure with companies, team size, sales results, etc. Hiring managers are looking for the best people they can find. Avoiding these mistakes make you stand out.

Gavin Redelman offers this advice:

A. Your resume will probably be reviewed for less than 30 seconds. Including a qualifications profile at the beginning of your resume is a fantastic way of grabbing the reader’s attention. Focus your attention on the skills that you can offer the company as opposed to what you are looking for in a job.

B. Most templates are old-fashioned and will not be read by “Automated Recruiting Software”, especially if they have boxes and tables. An experienced hiring manager can sniff out a resume template from a mile away and can portray an initial first impression of being lazy and lacking initiative and professionalism.

C. Do not apply for multiple jobs using the same resume because it will be too generic. Target your resume toward every job you apply for. Ensure that when a recruiter or employer reads through your resume that it is written specifically for the position you are applying for.

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James E. McClain is the author of Successful Career Development: A Game Plan, the book upon which some of our training programs are based. He has over 30 years' experience as a corporate HR executive, small business owner with ongoing experience in career development and as a college instructor. His educational background includes a B.S. and Masters degrees Education and Certification in Financial Planning. Our promise is that "you can pay more for training but you can not buy better training." The mission is to deliver the most effective and cost effective training and development programs.

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