resume writing mistakes

There are a couple of trends in resume writing which are popular but not necessarily appropriate.

One of those trends  is putting a list of your skills at the top of your resume;  like you are putting meta-tags on a web-page. As a recruiter I never looked at those skills because is they are  an unverifiable self assessment by the job-seeker. What a recruiter wants to know is what you did and achieved at particular employers. Recruiters have a mental ranking and categorisation of employers which they use to evaluate those responsibilities and achievements.

 The other trend is to use a one-page resume. I completely agree that it is useful to have a quick career summary on the first page of your resume that users can scan quickly, but if they are interested in reading more, you need to have the details on later pages for them to delve into. This is particularly important if you are submitting resumes that will be screened by individuals that don’t necessarily understand your area of expertise (like HR generalists). They will just be looking for key words in your resume that match the job description and if you are missing a key word then you could get filtered out before the resume reaches the real decision maker.  You need to cover all the key words in your resume that might be in the job description.

Put the one page summary first. Keep the formatting clean, simple and consistent. As a rough guide you should have at least one page for every 3-5 years of work experience. Make sure you include plenty of contextual information about your employer and business unit, and give plenty of information not just about your responsibilities, but also about what you acheived…what impact you had. As long as you do this, your resume will be great.

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