KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) Principle With Resumes
As a recruiter, I have read a lot of resumes. So many job seekers have resumes with issues. You can do better by knowing some of the basics.
1) Typos and grammatical errors
So many resumes have simple typos that would have been picked up by running spell check. I know hiring managers that will not move forward with a candidate if typos are spotted on the resume. Why? Because it shows a lack of attention to detail on one of the most important documents that the job seeker will have to put together. If the position calls for a high level of detail orientation, like in accounting, how can the hiring manager be sure you are the right fit for this type of work?
2) Did you read the job description?
I know it is easy to apply for an open position these days. All you have to do is upload a resume, maybe answer a few questions, and voila you are done. Just because something is easy doesn’t mean you should take the easy way out. Every resume that is submitted should provide some sort of match to the job requirements. Not necessarily 100% but more than 50% would be reasonable. I have had people that have applied to mid-career positions right out of college. I have had people apply to a position that clearly states the job seeker needs to be bilingual but no other language skills are shown on a resume. These people clearly did not take the time to read the job requirements.
3) Don’t give me your job description…tell me what you have done
I read many resumes where the job seeker must have taken the job description and transcribed it word for word. Guess what, you only told me what you are supposed to be doing. I have no sense of how well you are doing it. You could be an A, B, C or D player---I have no way of knowing. Now if you don’t have any successes to brag about, by all means keep this format for your resume. But if you have accomplished a lot in your positions, show it off. How much have you saved your company? How much did you beat your sales goal? How did you turn around a difficult situation? That is what I want to know.
4) Fancy charts and graphs don’t usually add much
Fancy charts and graphs may make you resume difficult to read. I had a job seeker who wanted to stand out by adding columns, charts and fancy graphics to her resume. The effect was to make a resume that frankly was difficult to read. One of those elements may have been okay on the resume, but the flow of this resume was poor with all of them. Try not to get too fancy. Many Applicant Tracking Systems do not allow for these elements. Unless you are in a field where graphics might show your creativity (like graphic design), I would keep it as simple as possible and easy to read.
Follow these tips and you will have much better job search success.