If your phone and/or email box seems short on job interviews these days, did you stop to think it just might be your resume that is holding you back?
Despite all the time (or lack thereof) you may have put into crafting the document, for some reason it just isn’t catching on with employers. In that event, you could find yourself on the outside looking in when it comes to nailing that job you wanted.
Even though many employers have more than enough to keep them busy on any given day of the week, you can rest assure that many of them do take the time to carefully read what you send them. As a result, one typo, one badly written sentence, even one factual error can lead to the round file for your prized document.
In the event you are getting ready to send your resume out on a job blitz in the coming days or weeks, keep these little tidbits in mind:
1. Typos – Nothing screams you are not a good candidate for the job more than having errors in your resume. You should not just fall back on spell check to catch any errors for you. It never hurts to have another set of eyes (family, friends etc.) give it the once-over. It is very easy to type in a bunch of dates, previous jobs, education etc. and come away with a typo or two. When that typo reaches the desk of the company you are interested in working for, it tells them in part that you do not review your work. That can be deadly, especially if you are in a position with them and errors are passed along to customers;
2. Accuracy – While many of us may be off a month or two on when exactly we worked for someone a decade ago or graduated from college, being way off is another major gaffe. Be as precise as possible with the dates you attended/graduate school, along with when you started and left an employer. Hopefully you have been updating your resume as you go along, not just doing it a decade later when you find yourself out of work and/or looking for another job while presently employed;
3. Structure – Does your resume look like a landmine hit it? Make sure the way your resume is laid out is both precise and reviewed. You don’t need to list that part-time job bagging groceries 10 years ago (unless of course you’re looking for a new job bagging groceries). Keep the most relevant experience front and center to the type of job you are currently looking for. Since many resumes are now emailed to prospective employers, make sure the layout is clean too. Nothing looks worse than when an employer gets a resume that is misaligned and scattered all over;
4. Skills – Last but not least, always remember to mention the skills with which you can bring to a company. Too many looking for jobs just list the company they worked for, how long they were there, and a brief description of what they did. Many of today’s employers want candidates who have specialized computer skills, including social media. Let the prospective employer know that you are proficient in this or that skill, allowing them to give you more consideration. Put aside a section on the resume specific to skills, therefore letting it stand out.
As a job seeker, what more would you like to know about putting together a winning resume?
About the Author: With 23 years’ writing experience, Dave Thomas covers a variety of career topics including Internet reputation management services.