A common mistake among job-seekers is not giving their resume the time or attention it truly deserves. I've looked at resumes where the applicant simply tossed their job history down on paper with no extra consideration. The problem with sending over a lame, decidedly boring, same-as-everyone-else resume is it's going to get ignored by any hiring manager or recruiter. They have countless of resumes to sort through and when the resumes all look the same, the chances of your resume actually being seen and considered suddenly plummet. So what makes a lackluster resume anyway?
You're Using A Generic Resume Builder
If you are one of the uninitiated to this service, a resume builder is a tool where you can pop in your job titles and dates worked and your very own resume is created. Right out of thin air! So easy to use and requires very little thought or preparation. Once, while looking through resumes for a new hire to interview, I noticed a startling pattern. Every single one of the resumes I saw had the same exact format, down to some of the actual job descriptions, only varying where the applicant's contact information was or specific job titles were. I was blown away! My eyes had glazed over by the third one and I didn't care to read any of the actual details. Not only does this present a resume that looks like everyone else, it also suggests a basic lack of effort in the job hunting process. This doesn't necessarily translate into someone who a manager wouldn't want to hire, but for myself, it demonstrated a clear lack of interest in the position and immediately had me thinking negatively about the applicants.
There's Still an Objective on Your Resume
If the top of your resume includes an objective statement, you need to get up to speed on current resume trends. The majority of resumes I receive with an objective statement are from people who haven't touched their resumes in 25+ years. Someone looking at a resume and eyeing an objective statement will probably roll their eyes at it. You're applying for this specific position, you don't need an objective statement to make that clear. Instead, utilize your job history to highlight what professional abilities or experience you have that will translate into the new position. In lieu of an objective statement, I much prefer a professional summary. A neat section that sums up your experience and strongest abilities that will entice a hiring manager to keep reading.
You List job Duties, Not Concrete Accomplishments
It's a huge misconception that your resume is simply a list of your basic job duties. If a hiring manager or recruiter wanted to know your basic job functions, they could simply google this. They want to see actual accomplishments. Sales resumes are my absolute favorite to write because they usually come with accomplishments such as increased sales by 50%, expanded market territory 35% above quota. Numbers are so inviting. On a document filled with words the numbers stick out immediately. They also highlight actual achievements you have cemented in your past roles. I know not all resumes are sales resumes, and that some people don't have actual numbers they can claim as accomplishments on their resumes, and in that case, no numbers can work too. However this brings us to the next issue...
...Your Job History Doesn't Actually Say Anything
So you don't have concrete numbers to brag about on your resume. Okay, no problem. I have extensive job history and I don't have numbers to tout either. BUT. That does not mean you can get away with listing basic job functions in the most boring way possible. For example, say we're reading a resume for a cashier - Dan. He writes: Rang out customers and offered great customer service. Okay, that's great Dan, but this would be better: Ensured continuous positive customer experience through active listening, proffering assistance and resolving anticipated or current issues in a timely manner. The second line says WAY more. The first example just tells us about his job duty. The second example actively shows us, there's energy in the sentence and we can see exactly how he is able to offer great customer service.
If you can fix up any of these issues on your resume, your chances of being noticed by a hiring manager will increase exponentially!
Our Recent Posts
Are You Answering This Key Interview Question Wrong?