Unless you are a professional resume writer, creating a winning resume is not easy. Writing a good resume takes time and effort, but writing a poor resume, one sure not to get read and end up in the trash is easy. In fact the easier you found writing your resume, the greater the chances are you may have sabotaged your resume.
Here are 5 sure fire ways to sabotage your resume:
1. Using Soft-Skill Descriptions in your resume
Soft-skills are claimed by nearly all job candidates and are so common that hiring managers pay no attention to them. Do not bore your reader with these overused and tired phrases. After all, you would not write that you take long lunches, are lazy, fear change or argue a lot with peers.
Here are some that you may have already included in your resume:
- excellent communication skills
- strong work ethic
- personable presenter
Instead write descriptions that are action-based and demonstrate these abilities rather than just laying claim to them; show, do not tell.
For example, rather than just stating you are an excellent presenter, you could say something like Developed and presented 50+ multi-media presentations to C-level prospects resulting in 35 new accounts totaling $300,000 in new revenue.
2. Giving away your age.
Many older workers are facing that scary time known as pre-retirement, and they fear age discrimination. A trap a lot of people fall into is believing they can counter this by proving they are not ready for the nursing home. Rather than helping your resume, you are toying with hiring laws and may make the very issue you are trying to hide stand out in neon letters.
Age, health, appearance phrases to avoid:
- professional appearance
Read this: Healthy, young-at-heart executive ready to make a difference rather than play golf all day. Trim, fit marathon runner seeks position as xxxxxxxxx the person might as well have written 57 year old male terrified of age discrimination and worried that he will be passed over for a younger candidate.
3. Using a passive voice in your resume.
The problem with passive voice is that it is just that – passive! Your resume needs to have punch and sparkle and make you look a pro-active achiever. You can not do that while using the passive voice.
Phrases indicative of the passive voice:
- responsible for
- duties included
- served as
- actions encompassed
Rather than saying Responsible for management of three direct reports, change it to Managed 3 direct reports. It is a shorter, more direct mode of writing and adds impact to the way the resume reads.
4. Going over the top
Passive voice is to be avoided, but so are over-the-top phrases. Action verbs are great, but be sure you do not overdo it.
Here are some over-the-top phrases actually seen on resumes:
- smashed numbers through the roof
- electrified sales team to produce
- pushed close rate by 10percent
Shock value does just that, shocks. Not the feeling you want the reader to have, so remember to keep your resume professional, and do not go overboard.
5. Myers-Briggs and DISC Profiles
If you have ever done one of these personality and style profiles such as the Myers Briggs Type Indicator or the DISC Profile, you may be very proud of the results. The truth is employers and recruiters are more interested in performance results. Do not inadvertently pigeon-hole yourself by including your profile results in the resume.
Bonus Mistake, Not checking your resume.
You would never dream of writing in your resume does not pay attention to detail, or cannot spell, Do not know grammar or punctuation. Do not know the difference between: their and there or where and wear, so why would you let your resume demonstrate such things.
Just doing the spellchecker once is not enough, you need to check it manually, and then check it again. Give it to a second or third person to check too.
A resume is a marketing document for your career just as a brochure is a marketing document for a product or service. Make sure you are marketing yourself as you want to be perceived.