Where You Go Wrong When Writing Your Resume

2014-12-18 by Steve

You have just come across this interesting and seemingly lucrative job opportunity. You have just launched Microsoft word on your tablet, PC, or desktop and began listing your duties, experience and qualifications, ensuring that the keywords mentioned in the advertisement appear somewhere. Well, writing a resume is not as easy as that. There must be reasons why people go for resume writing training sessions, and companies take their time to speak about it in recruitment drives. This is probably the only opportunity that you have to prove to the potential employer that you are the best candidate for the job. So where do you get it all wrong?

Failing to include what is most persuasive at the top
Just like a good introduction to a story captures your attention right from the start, you need to grab your potential employer’s attention from the word go. Your achievements should be well packaged and highlighted, right at the beginning. For instance, as financial manager, I recently worked with the company’s pool of human resource managers in the implementation of new Human Resource software that helps in handling payroll.

Failing to be specific
Instead of listing your duties, it is better to write specific details about your accomplishments, for instance, “I directed the prompt response of customer complaints that improved the annual sales by 15%.” However, be careful not to include what is irrelevant. Just include the highlights. Moreover, do not send one resume to all potential employers. Every organization is unique, and they are looking for specific skills. Take the time to modify your resume so that it fits the specific organization’s needs.

Using an objective
The employer wants to know how hiring you will benefit the company. Using objectives shows how you want to benefit from the company, rather than how your set of skills can benefit the company. Instead of using an objective, have a headline and a summary of your profile that shows how you are going to alleviate things in your potential employer’s company.

Limiting the resume to a single page
If your resume is only one page long, you have most probably left out a lot of crucial information. The ideal should be 2 pages, though 3 would also suffice.

Using Paragraph Format
A resume is usually read in 7 seconds; the hiring manager takes only 7 seconds to decide on whether you are a suitable candidate or not. If your resume is presented in paragraph format, it becomes more difficult for the manager to read through it very fast. It is advisable to use bulleted statements, focusing on a particular achievement in each statement. Each bullet should not be more than 2 lines long.

Typos make the hiring manager think that you do not care about details. Your resume needs to be free from typos and grammatical errors. Take your time to read and re-read it. If possible, ask someone else to proofread it for you, as at times we are our own worst editors.

As aforementioned, resume writing is no easy task. There are very many things to look out for, and what we have discussed is not by any means exhaustive. These are just guidelines.