As the employment market opens up, it is essential that we pay importance to how we present ourselves to employers that we are applying for.
One must understand the fact that it we get only one shot at impressing the employer and therefore it is essential that we give the best impression. The resume or the LinkedIn profile becomes our virtual identity before the meeting the employer in person. This is the primary reason why a well drafted resume or LinkedIn profile attracts more in-person interviews irrespective of the caliber of the applicant.So before you send out your resume to your next prospective employer, ensure that your resume does not have any of these fatal errors:
Ever wondered why a website does not have the header as website? Because its obvious that its a website and its plain dumb to title it as website. The same applies to the resume. Titling the resume a resume is useless unless you are implying that the reader isn't competent enough to understand that the document is a resume.
Think twice before you do this. A Dr. tag is acceptable because that denotes a purpose. However, a mention of an undergraduate tag or a club title such as Rtn. or LION by virtue of being a Rotarian or Lions club member to your name is downright useless if not funny.
An unprofessional email id such as 'firstname.lastname@example.org' or 'email@example.com' takes away the seriousness from the resume. You may have created the email id a decade ago when you were in college where it was considered cool. Keep your email id as professional as possible and do not link it to any religion, demographic or cultural aspects. Also it is important that your email id is easy to grasp and stay away from using a dot in between your email id. This may not be visible on print version and possibilities are that you miss out on opportunities because your email id was entered incorrectly. It is enough if you enter just one email id. No employer is interested in knowing the number of mailboxes you hold.
The pace at which recruitment happens today, the employer would like to connect with the applicant almost immediately and the fastest way to reach the applicant is on the mobile phone. So unless you live in a place where mobile phones do not work or want to give an impression that you are a stay at home person who can be reached on the home phone instead of the mobile phone or you intend on getting your employer familiar with your family at home, it is unnecessary to provide a home phone number.
Its time we accept that old text only resumes are boring and you will only be adding to the boredom of the hiring manager by presenting one more outdated resume. Make it interesting. Use some colors and present the data through graphs and charts for effective comprehension. When your resume becomes your virtual identity, you will want to make it as interesting as possible to make an impression. This is essential because you get the opportunity to make an impression only once.
The interest level drops as much as 60% when one goes through your resume from page one to page two and reaches a near zero when they move to page three. Create your resume in a way where all the information that the employer is looking for selection is available on the face page and use a second page only if it is unavoidable. Anything more than two pages is fatal.
Isn't it obvious that you are applying for employment by sending in your resume. So why do you have to specify that on your resume. Let's accept the fact that nobody cares what your objective is. Ask yourself, have you ever come across a situation where you have been rejected because the objective mentioned on your resume or lack of it. So why provide useless information on the resume, unless you are looking to fill space due to lack of useful information that might actually land you a job.
Language matters. Proofread you resume more than once and get it reviewed by a friend or colleague or an external agency. It is acceptable to get external support to draft and review your resume because a badly written or formatted resume will never fetch you an interview. Spell and grammatical errors are not acceptable though the job that you are applying for may not require language skills.
Get a free review of your resume by mailing it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Learn to differentiate between your KRAs during your last or present employment and your actual expertise. There could be a 100 items on your list of KRAs and that does not mean that you excel in all those areas. The employer is not interested in knowing the KRAs set for you by your last employer because, they have a set of KRAs for their own. The employer is more interested in knowing what you bring to the table. So focus on your expertise and achievements than filling pages with your roles and responsibilities. A lot of it is obvious because your role demands of it. However, when you convey your expertise and achievements through your resume, it adds value and betters the possibility of selection.
Trash all useless information from your resume. The thumb rule while drafting your resume is to ask yourself if the information that you are providing is going to make a difference in your selection. Information such as 'References available on request' is useless to the employer because they seldom ask for references and if they need it, they will ask you for it or an acknowledgement at the end of the resume that 'all information provided are true to my knowledge' is useless because it is understood that you are not lying. The same applies to mentioning your hobbies on your resume. Ask yourself if you being good at singing is going to get you a job as an application developer. So why should it be on your resume?
Traditional resumes do not serve the purpose in the present employment market. Focus on keeping it crisp, use the right keywords to get noticed and sell yourself through your resume. All the best.