I’m in my final year of my master’s degree and will be re-doing my résumé. What are the top résumé bloopers that people make? What are your suggestions to fix — or avoid — them?
Answer from Executive Job Coach Dana Manciagli
Error No. 1: Misunderstanding the purpose of a résumé
It is simply a neat, easy-to-read chronological summary of your skills, experiences and successes — nothing more.
Job candidates include too much unnecessary information, like company details or day-to-day tasks. Yet they miss highlighting the key skills that a hiring manager or recruiter is looking for.
Read the job description for which you are applying and ensure the key words used there are also found in your résumé.
Error No. 2: Poor format or layout makes résumés hard to read
While there is no ONE right template, find an easy-to-read layout online and follow it.
There are millions of articles about what to do and not to do with fonts, justification, date formats, etc. — don’t let them confuse you! Get input from others before sending your résumé to hiring managers — grammatical errors, typos and misspelled words are completely unacceptable.
Error No. 3: Assuming that your résumé tells your story to a hiring manager
It doesn’t. You will stand out when you make your great cover letter page one of your résumé, and use it to communicate with the hiring manager.
Do NOT regurgitate your résumé in your cover letter. Give three reasons why you are a fit for the job based on the job description, and ask for the interview. Please, stop papering the planet with résumés for jobs you are not a fit for.
In summary, it’s a new era of job search, and you need to change your game to stand out in this highly competitive and semi-automated employment market.