While it is true that the job-hunting process has changed over recent years, by and large, resumes haven’t changed all that much. It’s tempting to try out a few tricks to make your resume stand out from a crowd, but in fact what will actually get you hired is strong qualifications and a professional demeanor. Even with the added complexities of internet applications and networking sites, your resume is still your best tool to finding a new job, so make sure it’s doing you and your career justice. Here are three things that definitely won’t win you a job.
Your resume should be a showcase of your skills, talent, and accomplishments. But if you are using a resume format that is distracting in how it presents you as a potential employee, all that important information will get lost. Distracting visuals may include too many pictures, overly large or stylistic fonts, even awkward use of white space or design elements. These things may be tempting to include to create a more eye-grabbing resume, but rarely do they work in your favor. Visuals like that will often just hide or distract from your qualifications as a candidate, which at the end of the day is what your future employer needs to know about you. So, keep it clean, be straight-forward and organized in your resume. Your skills and accomplishments will be better able to remain the focus and work for you in the application process.
Keywords are important, but employers can see right through a resume that is falsely padded with keywords. You need to provide the context as well as the bullet points to really land your value to an employer. It’s easy to throw in every relevant keyword from the dictionary, but at the end of the day if you are not able to provide that context or unpack the impact of those skills for past employers, no one will believe that you will actually be able to bring those skills to the table.
Too Much (Personal) Information
Above all else, your resume needs to be professional. Providing too much personal information is never a fast track in the door. Many inexperienced or recent graduates will include personal passions or projects to prove to future employers that they are experienced in the real world outside of an academic setting, but for an experienced professional to dive into a deep exploration of their home life or hobbies, it doesn’t have the same impact. In fact, it reads as though the candidate lacks the professional skills or experience needed to write a full resume. Stay focused on the relevant experiences that your future employer is most interested in. You can take the time to make friends and share your interests once you receive a job offer. For now, make sure you (and your resume) stay focused on the value you would bring as an employee.
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