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A resume is the first and hence most important impression that a job seeker leave on the employer. Despite of the growing trend of hiring using sites like LinkedIn and Angellist, resumes remain an in electable part of the recruiting process.
With so many resumes for a single position, the recruiters do not spend more than a minute or even less on each resume. According to a survey, 75 percent of candidates are eliminated on the basis of their resumes alone. Drafting the perfect resume is imperative and failing to do so won’t allow you to cross the threshold. To help all the job seekers, we have come up with a list of most important do’s and don’ts to follow while drafting a resume. Have a look.
- Worry too much about the supposed “one page” rule. If you have a lot of experience, your experience might not fit on one page. Also, in case you haven’t heard, job hopping is the new normal. That takes resume space. Nobody reads these things on paper anyway but that doesn’t mean you should not include everything.
- Have an objective. “To land a copywriting position at an advertising agency where I can showcase my excellent writing and marketing skills!” It’s not about what you want. It’s about what the employer wants.
- It can be tempting to make stuff up but don’t. The risks far outweigh the potential benefits. If you’re not in the room when you get caught lying, you won’t ever know that’s why they didn’t contact you.
- Use clichés and buzzwords. Are you a “results-oriented team player who thinks outside the box with a proven track record?” Maybe you’re a “proactive go getter?” Don’t say that in your resume. Hiring managers hate being bombarded with meaningless hype terms.
- Say “responsibilities” or “duties included.” Rather use action verbs to describe your previous positions.
- Share your personal information, including your date of birth, marital status, sexual orientation, political affiliation, or religion. Don’t include such information in your resume.
- Include your high school education. Unless you are still in high school, or just out of high school, or applying for a position that specifically requires a high school diploma, leave it out.
- List time you spent in prison for sexual assault. You might think this would go without saying but we’ve seen a resume in which the candidate listed his time in the big house and specified that the charge was sexual assault. See that gem here.
- Don’t Include “References Upon Request. It takes up room you could otherwise use for experience and skills. It looks presumptuous.
- Don’t Spend All Your Time on the Design. While making your resume look nice is important,much time on resume designing should not be wasted.
- Make your contact information easy to see. Put your contact information up top, where they can’t miss it. It might seem like a small thing but it makes everyone’s life easier.
- Have a summary. Sum yourself up in a few words, focusing on your strengths and qualifications.
- List your experience in chronological order. In place of using a “functional resume”, go for a chronological order. Most hiring managers will see right through the functional resume and will immediately know you don’t have what they’re looking for.
- Provide dates. Don’t think you can fudge things by just listing the places you worked and leaving out the dates. Hiring managers will most likely scrap a resume without dates.
- Hiring managers are sticklers for spelling, grammar, and clean copy. Typos and spelling mistakes are among the first reasons they will toss your resume.
- Use keywords. This is part of customization. Use keywords that are listed in the job description. These words are what the electronic screeners will look for. See the exact keywords employers search for by industry here.
- Use action words. “Created,” “Improved,” “Increased,” “Devised,” “Initiated…” Use words that demonstrate that you get things done.
- Use numbers to quantify your accomplishments. If sales saw a 500% year over year growth under your management, this is the sort of thing you really want to make clear.
- Use a professional font. Stick Arial, Calibri, or Times New Roman. Resumes aren’t the time to get cute with Comic Sans or Bauhaus 93.
- Use a professional email address. Many think addresses like email@example.com are a thing of the past. They would be wrong. But they should be right. This makes you look ridiculous to employers. Use your name or a variation thereof.
Though I have tried to include all the most important do's and dont's, feel free to add anything that I may have missed it in the comments section.
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