Bad Resume Styles To Avoid

Published: Nov 28, 2013

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Bad Resume Styles To Avoid November 28, 2013

Avoid these 3 resume styles if you want to land the job.

By Anish Majumdar, Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW)

Certain types of resume are doomed to be rejected. It's not a question of tightening up wording or providing additional accomplishments: it's the APPROACH the job seeker took that's fundamentally opposed to success in today's marketplace. Here are 3 of the most common offenders:

1. The "Put Everything in There and Hope Something Sticks" Resume

Creating a resume can be a daunting task, particularly if you have an extensive work history. Don't make the mistake of thinking you can cram it all into 2-3 pages! SELECTIVITY plays just as much of a role in a job search document as content. Otherwise you'll just end up with a sea of text lacking clarity: a guaranteed recipe for rejection.

Solution: Think in terms of creating a "teaser" for your career. Look over your work history. Which skills are you most proud of? Now analyze relevant job postings. Where are the areas of overlap? These should form the "theme" of your resume, a core group of ideas you keep returning to in slightly different forms. Be ruthless with regards to additional information and consolidate older jobs (those past the 12-15 year mark) within a brief "Additional Experience" section.

2. The "Throw the Baby out with the Bath Water" Resume

Some job seekers, not wanting to try the patience of a recruiter or hiring agent, will go in the exact opposite direction, providing little in the way of an opening section and an abbreviated work history that does nothing to differentiate him/her from the competition. While brevity is important, it should not come at the cost of communicating why you're a great fit for a role. An exceptionally qualified candidate will land interviews despite a lengthy resume. An exceptionally qualified candidate who doesn't come across as one on the page won't.

Solution: Developing the work history section of your resume is the key to coming across as a well-qualified candidate. Structure every relevant job you've held in the past 10-12 years along the following lines:

-A brief paragraph describing UNIQUE RESPONSIBILITIES. Keep the language active and ideas succinct. It's also important to project a degree of leadership. For example, a line like, "I managed project budgets and worked with team members throughout multiple phases," can be revised as, "Drove on-time completion of projects through effectively managing costs and ensuring team attainment of critical milestones."

-A "Key Accomplishments" section listing successes for every job. Keep these as quantifiable as possible. Powerful, hard-line accomplishments are the single most powerful element of a resume that lands interviews.

3. The "Honesty at all Costs" Resume

To be clear: being upfront is a good thing. However, when you take it to extremes and start listing negative information on your resume such as why you got laid off at your last job it becomes foolhardy. The place for getting into details like this (if ever) is during an interview. Let the resume focus on why you're an exceptional candidate.

Solution: Carefully go through your resume and take out any information that might possibly be construed in a negative light. If you're in doubt, cut it. And if the resume doesn't work without what you've cut, it's time to go back to the drawing board for a re-write.

About the Author

Anish Majumdar is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Owner at 95% of clients report a significant increase in interviews within 30 days, and all work comes backed by a 100% Satisfaction or Money Back Guarantee (in writing).

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