You Can’t Get a Great Job with a Crappy Resume

Last month’s article was “Should I Write My own Resume?”  This month, I am going to answer that question.  

No. Never. No matter what. Even if you only have year or fifty years of experience.  

In the last ten days I have been interviewing for a “part-time social media specialist” position.  I have received 31 resumes.  28 of them need work.  For those 28 job seekers, they may have cost themselves a pretty cool job because their resumes quite frankly don’t tell their story relevant to the job I am hiring for.  I see this all the time so let me explain what I am talking about.

You send me your resume with a cover letter telling me you’re a “great fit “for the position but your resume doesn’t hit me over the head with why I should even consider you.  Most of the resumes actually made it hard to uncover why you may be a good candidate for the position. 

1.    Why write a resume objective with words like hard worker, team player and “make a significant contribution” as the headline.  Seriously, your successful experience relevant to the job is your accomplishments is the key thing an employer is looking for.  Don’t waste words especially in your headline area.

2.    8 resumes had the title “social media specialist” as a headline of objective.  This was a fantastic attention grabber.  The problem was for 7 of those resumes, the skills and jobs didn’t even come close to backing up the title.  These resumes are automatically declined.  Don’t just add a keyword if you really don’t have the jobs or experience to back it up.

3.    Many job seekers use resume templates from programs like Microsoft Word to create their resumes.  While not always bad, your resume looks like everyone else who uses the same program.  Your resume should be your own.

4.    Your previous job titles have nothing to do with social media specialist.  
5.    Your accomplishments don’t talk about your successes in social media marketing.  Employers want to see actual results like “increased open rates on newsletters by 14%.

6.    I’m seeing job seekers leave off a physical address on their resume.  For jobs that are not remote, that is not a very good idea.  Employers don’t want to guess where you live and may not take to the time to find out (even if you’re qualified) if they have other candidates.

7.    18 of the resumes had different fonts as well as a lot of color.  I certainly understand this for this position (graphics, designs, etc.) but many of these resumes were just plain hard to read.  Keep it simple. (Also, for large companies that require you to submit your resume via their ATS (applicant track system), many of these resumes will confuse the ATS and may become un-readable.)

The real point is this.  Your main goal with a submitted resume is to get an employer set an interview.  The clearer your resume is, the better your chances are they will contact you.  Too many of you make the mistake applying to jobs that you think you can do but don’t have the resume to back it up; even when you have the experience.

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