Over the years I’ve viewed thousands of resumes. Most are ordinary (at best), occasionally worth a second glance and a minority totally cringe worthy. Without doubt, most job-seekers dramatically undersell themselves. Not only do job seekers not know how to sell themselves on paper, but they are also failing to ensure their resume lands up in front of the right person (the decision-maker).
Working backwards, these are my top 5 reasons why your current resume is not working.
#No. 5 Your resume is full of irrelevant content and fluff
At number 5, the reason your resume is not working, is because more likely than not, your resume is full or irrelevant content and fluff. By irrelevant, I mean information that is not applicable to the job you are applying for and by fluff, I mean content that is not direct, does not add value, or states the obvious.
Take this summary of skills from a graduate who is seeking a position within production.
- Good time management
- Excellent interpersonal and leadership skills
- Able to fulfill multiple roles within a team
- Physically fit
- Competent in video editing and Photoshop
- Great with children (4-years experience in childcare)
The first 5 bullet points are just statements without any quantifiable evidence. These lists are just fluff, as they don’t provide any context or evidence. Make sure you avoid these generic soft skills lists and instead focus on putting your experience into context for readers and outlining your achievements.
The last 2 bullet points, gymnastics and great with children – are skills totally irrelevant to the position being applied for. What benefit are they to the reader? How does this information demonstrate the skills and qualities necessary for the job? The point is they don’t, which is why this information is irrelevant. So scan your resume and remove irrelevant information.[Read more…]