Career

The importance of a resume and how to get started to get noticed

Studies show that the average hiring manager spends approximately 20 seconds looking at your resume. Facts say 10 seconds. The truth is, you have minimal chance to get noticed and getting the interview if your resume doesn’t stand out from the crowd.

In the past five years, resumes have changed dramatically thanks to the Internet. The electronic resume, one of the newest resume upgrades, has changed the application process and resume writing as a whole. An effective resume in this decade must be written with scannable keywords in mind, as it is commonly scanned into a job board or publication database where thousands of potential employers can view it and then download it. The response the candidate receives from their resume writing is no longer assumed to be a phone call – it may in fact be an e-mail.

If the candidate is applying online she or he is often able to upload the resume she’s writing in a word processing format such as Word, or cut and past it to the online application. There are even templates that allow job candidates to write their resumes from scratch right on the site.

Keep in mind, as you are writing your resume, that the simplest and most common format for saving a resume file is with the help of a word processor like Microsoft Word or Open Office. This software will capture the various bolds and fonts, as well as italics and indentations.

Resume writing, though in a very different version than is now used, came into being around the 1930s. Prior to that, candidates filled out an Application for a Position that most resembled the curriculum vitae used by professionals today and in Europe. It was used in conjunction with a cover letter, with work experience noted in chronological order. It also included much personal biography. In 1930 the theory of hiring professionals and educators was that applicants should not look conceited by bragging about their accomplishments.

Up until the late 1940s, a resume was expected to include your age, your weight, your height, and your parent’s country of origin. You were also to have a photo of yourself in professional attire such as a suit.

It wasn’t until the 1980s, however, that books and periodicals really started to talk about resume writing. Now there is a lot of advice out there in print and on the Web, not only about resume writing but resume writing specifically to your situation or industry.

Competition is fierce and resumes writing has changed. You don’t need “resumes” anymore but “Attention Grabbing Resumes”. This is the only way for you to get noticed and get the interview, fast, without sending hundreds and thousands of resumes throughout the country.

You must assume as you write and design your resume, that it will be scanned as well as manually read. For this reason, your layout should be clear, without lines or borders, with a large top, bottom, left and right margins, on white or off white paper, and your name and contact information should be centered at the top of the resume.  Further keeping in mind the current electronic processing of resumes, you should be always cognizant of keyword search, making sure that your resume is replete with the skill words that are required for the job.  That’s the first step.

Key Resume Mistakes To Avoid

The major purpose of a Resume/CV is to get you to the interview rooms. Therefore, for jobs seekers, this is the step that requires a great deal of care and holds vital significance in the whole process of Job Hunting.

Now I have listed down some critical mistakes to avoid so that your Resume/CV could give you better results the next time you send it.

1- Avoid Grammatical Mistakes:

At times this has been observed and has been stated by the employers that one of the most negative that could go against any candidate is having grammatical errors in their resume/CV. Thus, preventive measures should be taken. Before taking a printout for final submission whole document should be carefully corrected for any grammatical mistakes.

Spelling and Grammar – A simple but much-overlooked detail.  These errors are the tell-tale sign of carelessness and laziness. Make sure you have your resume proofread for spelling and grammar errors before sending it out.  An independent third party can see mistakes you’ve overlooked several times.  Make sure you watch your abbreviations and avoid slang and excessive use of duplicate words. 

Job Specific – If your resume is too generic it will appear that you’ll settle for any job available. You’re trying to make a good fit for a specific position within a company.  One that you’re best qualified for over the other candidates. In order to accomplish this, you need to be specific in your objections and accomplishments. Including  

Non Essential  Information – Omit your personal information like marriage status, children, religion, height, weight, etc.  

Another turn-off for the employers has been that the Resume/CV which they have received has nothing to do with the job opportunity. What the Job Seekers do is that they take many printouts of one CV and send them to all the employers. What the employers actually are looking for is a specific CV created for them only. So substantial care if required.

3. Too Long – Employers read a lot of resumes. Keep to the point. Resumes that are too long are probably filled with non-pertinent information.  Stays focused and keep it to one page.  You don’t need to write complete sentences or paragraphs. 

4. Difficult Reading –  Watch your font type, paper color, asterisks, and bullets. Make sure it flows and is easy to read.  The reader should enjoy reading your resume, not struggling through it.   Try and say as much as possible with as few words as possible.

3- Lack of Details:

At times irrelevant information is provided and relevant information seems to be missing from the Resume/CV. Therefore, we need to make sure that the key information will remain present there. Remain to the point and not mention irrelevant details. However, do list your accomplishment in a story form.

4- Incorrect Contact Information:

Another thing that needs attention is that you should not provide incorrect information in the resume. As this process usually entails getting in touch with you. But, if the information is not as correct as it should be then it will again fail to full fill its purpose.

5- Consultation:

Before sending your resumes do get them checked by some individuals. It’s always a good idea to get your Resume/ CV checked by some expert. They will provide you professional feedback and might also recommend you for something better in the future.

Too Modest – Your resume is a sales tool. Be bold and assertive without being arrogant or supercilious. Make sure your resume is factual and truthful. There’s a lot of competition with other applicants so make sure your resume shines!

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