How to Resolve 3 Deadly Resume Mistakes

Don’t Let these Mistakes Keep You From an Interview

By Linda L. Hardenstein, MPA, PCC, January 17, 2013

ResumelThis is an update to a previous post on August 20, 2012.

If you’ve been sending out resumes and not getting a response, it’s time to revamp your resume, cover letter or your job search strategy.

The purpose of your resume is to get your foot in the door and land an interview.   To do this you have to grab the recruiter’s attention, which, as shown in How Recruiters Look at Your Resume, isn’t always easy.

I regularly volunteer to review resumes at job fairs and help my clients create what I call a “get-your-foot-in-the-door” resume.  Some of the consistent mistakes job searchers make that lower their chances for getting to the interview stage are easily overcome by applying these tips:

  1. Be clear.  A recruiter or human resources manager charged with reviewing resumes is usually super busy.  So get on their good side right away by making their life easier.  In your resume and cover letter be clear about the job you’re applying for.  Make sure your skills are applicable to the position and show them how you fit the job right up front.  Don’t leave it up to them to put the pieces together about how what you’ve done in the past fits the position they’re offering.  Not being clear was also one of the top mistakes people make in interviews according to recruiters I polled.
  2. Be targeted.  If your skills and abilities don’t match the position, reconsider spending your precious time and energy to apply.  There are so many applicants applying for one job if your qualifications don’t match most likely you will not be considered.  Instead target a position that does match your skills and experience.  Put your energy into crafting a great resume and attention-getting cover letter that shows why you’re the best choice for the position.
  3. Show your Value.  This is the biggest problem area I see when working with clients to create a  resume that gets them in tIntroductionhe door.  Most of us are humble and find it difficult to go on and on about our accomplishments.  But you need to show your value to a potential employer and your resume is your first chance to do that.  One is to write down the value you’ve brought to positions you’ve held in the past. If you are having a hard time figuring out the value you bring or how to write about it, hire a professional to help you craft a resume or ask someone you know and trust to give you their input on the value you bring.

Your resume is your entree to an interview where the employer can learn more about you and see if you’re the right fit.  Be sure your resume conveys how you can be the best choice for fulfilling the need they have.

If you have questions, feel free to contact me.  Comments are welcomed.

Linda Hardenstein is a  career strategist and certified coach who provides tools and advice that empowers professionals to discover their authentic purpose and to land the career that matches who they are.