WHERE TO START?
TYPES OF RESUMES:
RESUME DO'S AND DON'TS
10 QUICK TIPS FOR RESUME SUCCESS
9 WORST RESUME MISTAKES
10 WAYS YOUR RESUME IRKS HIRING MANAGERS
DON'T MAKE THESE MISTAKES
WHAT'S IN A NAME
WORK EXPERIENCE, EDUCATION & SKILLS
NINE WORST RESUME MISTAKES
resume paper, elaborate design and other embellishments help job
seekers stand out.
expensive resume paper was required by any candidate wishing to be
taken seriously--but this point is now moot since human resources
prefer electronic submissions. "We don't like to get paper of any
kind," says Doreen Collins, a manager for global staffing
quality initiatives at General Electric, "and if we do
get hard copies we just scan them into the system." That's because
GE, like most companies, uses an electronic resume management system
to sort through prospective hires.
eye-catching design and graphics: do without them. Such
ornamentation only makes your resume more difficult to read for a
hiring manager who has hundreds of others applicants to sift
through. The harder you make it for someone to discern your
qualifications, the less likely it is that you'll be deemed
qualified. And in this electronic age, curlicues put you at a
"We get a
lot of resumes with graphic files, fancy fonts, even banners," says
Collins, "but the electronic system rejects them." Hi-tech
attention-getting can actually take applicants out of the running
an objective at the top of your resume.
says Peri Hansen, a principal with recruiting firm Korn/Ferry.
"It's the fastest way to pigeon-hole yourself," she says. Specify
"Asset Manager" and you may not even be considered for "Financial
Planner." "The one exception may be if you're trying to transition
from one career into something very different," says Hansen. "An
objective explains why your experience doesn't obviously apply to
better idea: Identify your goals in the cover letter so they can be
tailored to each position you apply for. And yes, despite the
convenience and speed of e-mailing a resume, cover letters are still
very much required. "When you only get a resume, you worry that
someone's just sitting on Monster.com hitting the 'send'
button," says GE's Collins, "without any serious interest in the
Including a paragraph summarizing your skills.
If you need
to summarize your skills at the end of your resume, then you either
have one very poorly written resume or you are being redundant.
Neither of these things appeal to employers. "Any skills or
expertise you have should be addressed in the accomplishments you
list at the jobs you've held," says Hansen.
"functional" resume will do a better job of highlighting your unique
skills and expertise than one that simply lists your positions in
resumes--which detail skills instead of listing positions--won't
help manipulate how prospective employers perceive you. "People use
them to hide a gap in their employment," says recruiting firm Ray
& Berndtson's Chief Executive Paul Ray Jr., "or to
demonstrate that their skills can be applied to many positions." But
the format makes managers suspicious and more intent on piecing
together a timeline of your employment--and it's also a tough read.
"After reading these resumes, you have no idea what the hell people
have actually accomplished at their old jobs," says Ray.
your resume for jobs that you know you're not qualified for, if
they're at companies where you'd like to work.
"A lot of
time people will apply just because they see it's GE," says Collins,
"but when they're not appropriate, it really just frustrates us."
gaffe: mass mailing your resume to every headhunter and contact you
know with all of their e-mail addresses listed in the "Cc:" line.
"It's amazing how many people do that," says Dennis Spring,
the principal at New York-based recruiter Spring & Co. "Not
only is it bad manners, but it makes you look like you're plastering
your resume all over the planet. In my mind that makes you a much
less desirable candidate. We are only looking for people who are
strategic in their thinking, and present themselves in a very
resume length down to one page.
drilled this into our heads in college, but we're grownups now with
much more experience. The acceptable length for a career spanning
over six or seven years is two pages, according to Korn/Ferry's
Hansen. "As long ago as you may have held a job, or as short a
period of time you may have held it, you don't want to leave out
anything that you did," she says. "If you go to three pages you've
either worked a very, very long time or are being verbose."
information about yourself as a person--such as hobbies and
memberships--creates the image of a well-rounded individual that
employers prefer to hire.
really care what kind of a person you are," says Ray, "I want to
know what you can do for me." There is also such a thing as too much
information. Maybe the person reviewing your resume happens to
detest cat lovers.
that references are available upon request.
they are. "That just wastes paper," says GE's Collins, "and it makes
you look dumb."
each position you've held, you only need to list the name of your
employer and their location.
assume that people reading your resume know what your company does,"
says Hansen. If you work for a relatively unknown firm, describe the
business, note its revenues and maybe how old it is. "Otherwise I
have to go online and look up a company description," says Hansen.
And wasting a recruiter's time is not a good idea.