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Give Your Resume A Fresh Start


5/5/2014 4:14:17 PM

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Give Your Resume A Fresh Start May 15, 2014

Here are some tips to freshen up your resume.

By Ford R. Myers, Executive Career Coach

Now that it’s spring, it feels like a new beginning. As part of this “fresh start,” it’s a good idea to review and improve your resume.

Many people ask, “What are some quick and easy things I can do to enhance my resume and get a better response?” To answer that question, I’ve compiled a list of common resume mistakes and “quick fixes.”

Common resume mistakes—and the reasons why these mistakes are so damaging.

    1. Typos and grammatical errors show you’re lazy, not detail-oriented, poorly-educated, or unprepared. Before launching your job search, have your resume reviewed by a career professional or at least by an excellent writer / editor.

    2. Formatting that is difficult for the eye to follow or confusing to look at. The reader will get frustrated, give-up, and throw-out your resume. The layout and “readability” of your resume are nearly as important as the written content.

    3. Focusing only on general job responsibilities, rather than on specific accomplishments and tangible contributions. Employers aren’t interested in you “just doing your job,” they’re interested in how you’ll “go the extra mile” to make their company more successful and help them achieve vital corporate objectives.

    4. Too many superlative terms, such as “awesome, incredible, amazing, extraordinary.” With this terminology, you sound immature and inappropriate for the business environment. Also, when you have great accomplishments to share, you don’t need to “dress them up” or over-emphasize them with superlatives.

Quick fixes to improve your resume and get much more response.

    1. Delete passive-sounding phrases like “Responsible for” or “Handled.” Instead use strong action verbs at the beginning of every sentence and phrase. (i.e., Managed, Built, Directed, Led, Supervised, Generated, Achieved).

    2. Instead of an “Objective” at the top of your resume, put a compelling Positioning / Branding Statement as the first section of the document. (You can use your cover letter to highlight your job search objective.)

    3. Strip-out any fancy formatting, unusual layouts or artsy images (unless you’re applying for a job as a graphic designer). Keep your resume’s layout simple and clean—almost boring. Let the words on your resume “speak for themselves.” Be sure the format is consistent and easy for the eye to follow.

    4. Don’t just state what you did in each of your jobs, instead stress the positive outcomes of your contributions at work. Quantify your facts wherever possible. Focus relentlessly on your accomplishments and their tangible, measurable results.

If you eliminate these kinds of resume errors and implement the improvements listed above, your resume will represent you in a more professional manner, and your response-rate will increase noticeably!

About the Author

Copyright © 2014, Career Potential, LLC. Reprinted by permission of Ford R. Myers, a nationally-known Career Expert and author of “Get The Job You Want, Even When No One’s Hiring.” For information about career services and products, visit www.careerpotential.com and www.fordmyers.com.

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