Your resume is probably the hardest thing to tailor during the job search. Why? Well, your resume is a reflection of you and your work experience. If it’s not presented in the right way, you may not have a chance.
The most common issue I see with most resumes is that they are are outdated, especially if the person hasn’t had to look for a job in a while. The rules of five years ago may not apply today. So what works and what doesn’t work? It can depend on your field, but here are some common mistakes and how to fix them:
List what you accomplished, as well as your duties.
What did you do in your past jobs to make a difference? How did you know that you did a good job? Delivered 5 key projects in 12 months? Did you increase sales by 10%? Did you deliver on your KPI’s on time and on budget 100% over the last 5 years? Did you improve team member retention by 5% in 12 months? Potential employers don’t want to know what you did each day. They want to know what you did to move your organisation from point A to point B. If possible, list your accomplishments quantifiably. For example, you may have increased total revenue by five percent based on marketing efforts. Highlight this because potential employers want to know the difference you can make to their business.
Objectives are out, Career Profile is in.
If you still have an objective at the top of your resume, do everyone a favour and delete it right now. It’s an outdated practice that most hiring managers will see as old fashioned. You are obviously applying for the position because you are interested in improving your skill set and advancing your career in the industry, so you do not need to state that in your resume.
Instead of an objective, create a Career Profile, linking what it is that you have done to the job you’re applying for. This is the key to communicating yourself to a potential employer if you’re looking for a career change. For example, if the job is for a Marketing Assistant and the key tasks they would like you to do are campaign and event management, then this needs to go into the Career Profile. Even if they have only taken up a small amount of your current role, if they are tasks you can do, you need to highlight those.
Don’t put unrelated skills.
The front page of your resume is prime real estate and you have only about 10 seconds to capture the reader’s attention. So, listing the key skills that relate to what they’re looking for is crucial. If they’re looking for excellent communication skills then you need to list this as number 1. If you’re tempted to put “speaks fluent German” as number 1, then you might need to rethink it if speaking German is not a requirement of the job.