Being on the hunt for a job or your career is never fun. Searching for your ‘dream’ position can be a full-time job in and of itself! Here’s a little secret, you have something that every hiring employer and recruiter want. Each resume that ends up on a recruiters desk, they are hoping and praying it’s you that they’re looking for. From what I have been told by previous employers, professors, family and friends, hiring managers look at countless resumes a day, depending on the company’s size, human resources are the ones in charge; here are some things to absolutely never do on your resume; and once they realize you may be the perfect fit, in your interview.
1. Writing Sentences Like This. This Is Not How You Write Sentences Unless It Is a Title. This is an example of a normal sentence. This Is Not. See the difference? Can we please act like or at lease pretend (that’s what Google is for) that we have it together like we are a hirable individual that has a bachelor’s degree? Thanks.
2. Not using spell check. I can’t tell you how many times I have not used spell check, printed out my finished “master piece” just find that their is a type… errr several typos. I mean, did you even graduate from high school? C’mon this is basic knowledge. I mean, we even have computers to do it for us now-a-days.
3. Not writing a CREATIVE cover letter. It is the basic knowledge of the professional world. I know, you’re probably thinking, “but this is how they taught me in college.” College is there to teach you the basics, it is up to you to seek more and want to be creative so that you stand out among the rest. The formulaic method of writing a cover letter: “I am so and so and I am applying for XYZ job…” is so mundane. Just think, if a hiring manager or recruiter is responsible for looking over numerous cover letters imagine how many others decided to write it the same way you did, get it now? Good. While it is important to communicate what job you are applying for, there are plenty of ways to communicate creatively. Now, I’m not saying that this will come naturally, well maybe to some, but having your peers, professors or even family look over it will allow for you to make edits accordingly. The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) employers seek potential hires with strong written communication skills which attributes to 73.4 percent of who employers hire with that particular skill. The employer wants to know more about YOU and what you have to offer the company based off of your past experiences rather than reading about the company and how much you’ve researched them (which is great too, but keep it to a minimum, this is all about you!) A cover letter is your time to show off that impressive resume you’ve continuously built throughout college.
4. Not using a professional email. What do you think this is? The time AIM and aol addresses? That time is lonnnngggg gone (thank GOD). That cute little email address your mom created for you when you were 10-years old doesn’t work in the working world any longer (lets be honest, it never did). Employers are judging you and the way you communicate because that is all they can go by. Make it professional.
5. Showcasing your hobbies. Unless you can tie in your hobbies to your work ethic and how it has contributed to your success as a student or young professional, leave it out. They don’t care. Keep it simple. Don’t use big words when small ones will do.
6. You’re still putting “references upon request.” Employers are well aware that you’ll provide them with references, should they ask for them during the interview process. There’s no reason to waste this valuable space on your resume by stating the obvious. Remember, you only have one to two pages worth of resume white space to work with–save it for info that is most compelling.
7. Your resume has an objective instead of a professional summary. There is a lot of controversy with this one. However, I have always been taught by professors that a professional summary ties in your experience. Now, the difference between an ‘objective’ and ‘professional summary’ is that an objective statement describes your needs, rather trhan how you’ll meet the needs of an employer. Use the space to sell your job candidacy by giving the reader your elevator pitch. In three to five sentences, explain what you’re best at, most interested in, and how you can provide value to a prospective employer. In a resume, this is called your professional summary.
8. You haven’t included the URL to your professional profile. According to Jobvite survey, 93 percent of recruiters are likely to look at a job candidate’s social profile. Include the URLs to your online professional profiles, such as LinkedIn and Facebook, so recruiters don’t have to guess or mistake you for someone else. Make sure your online profiles tell the same story.
9. Failure to match social cues. Making a great first impression is easier to do when you communicate effectively with your interviewer. The best way to do this is by mirroring his or her communication style. Allowing your interviewer to set the tone for the conversation works best from my experience.
If the interviewer seems all business, don’t attempt to loosen him or her up with a joke or story. Be succinct and businesslike.
If the interviewer is personable, try discussing his or her interests.
If asked a direst question, answer directly.
10. Failing to take the opportunity to ask questions. Interviews are a two-way street, so be ready with your questions at the end of the discussion. Prepare a few in advance and write down any additional issues that arise as the conversation progresses.
Make certain you ask specific questions about a company’s mission and business practice and expectations to determine whether they are realistic and in line with your own preferences. Also, find out about the organization’s long-term priorities and how your contributions would impact those plans.
Occasionally, things may not go according to plan, but look at each interview that you have as a test-run to an interview to the job of your dreams!