Saturday, June 11, 2011

Avoid resume mistakes - Get noticed in seconds!
Make your resume pass the first cut by ensuring that the different headings carry relevant information to highlight your career skills and experience in the best light, and showcase you as a professional who is right for the job.
Thirty seconds.

That’s all the time a recruiter spends on an average on any given resume. Coupled to the volume of applications he/she receives, that’s a very short time to make a positive impression. The presentation of specific information like skills must be such that the document should speak – “These are my skills, I am an achiever, and I believe I can contribute to the growth of your company”. Every word and phrase must be incorporated to market your candidature.

However, there are also certain things that can stand out in a poorly crafted resume and drive recruiters away. Here’s a list of resume faux pas that you should omit under all circumstances:

How personal is professional
Gone are the days when resume included personal details like parents’ name, marital status, ethnicity and personal health details like your blood group. Add information that is relevant to the job – you can include languages spoken if the job in question requires multi- or specific lingual proficiency, or nationality if you are applying for jobs abroad.

Including a photograph is not an absolute given, and you can leave it out from your resume unless specifically asked for. Employers these days are also careful about letting any personal information about age, gender, marital status, etc to create bias. Let the first impression about you be solely through your qualifications and professional facts.

Irrelevant work experience
If you are someone with over 10-15 years’ of work experience, you need not list your first job or intern experience. Not only does it make the resume lengthy, it also increases the recruiter’s task of sifting through to find information that makes you suitable for this particular role.

Also, put across the previous jobs’ responsibilities in a result oriented fashion rather than merely listing tasks that you were in charge of. For example: “Ideated and implemented marketing strategy for xyz product” instead of “In charge of developing a marketing strategy for xyz product.”

Words that kill a resume
Avoid using superfluous and over-generalised words in the career objective and skills section. Words like ‘driven’, ‘team player’, ‘hardworking’ don’t add as much weight as they consume space. Highlight the same through specific instances where you led and/participated in a challenging task in the ‘Job responsibilities’ and ‘Achievements’ sections.

Save salary talk for interview
Do NOT mention salary information in your resume. Discussion on current and expected salary should be at the interview stage, but if you have been specifically asked to mention the same, you can mention it as negotiable.

Mentioning work gaps in resume is a tricky task. Skipping it completely raises red flags and doubt in the recruiter’s mind and so does giving lengthy explanations. A concise statement in form of ‘sabbatical from work’, ‘freelance/ part-time projects’ can be used to maintain the chronological continuity of your work history.

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