We know how critical it is to remove resume errors as it is the first impression an employer gleans from hundreds of resumes seen for a position. That is unless you know how to leap over the hurdles you see.
Edwin Moses jumped hurdles for many years and won 122 races in a row. Job seekers should not create their own hurdles through their own writing, or someone else viewing. Your resume must be hurdle free. Edwin Moses also had the first 9-9-9 accomplishment, that is 9 years, 9 months, and 9 days undefeated, converse to Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 economic plan.
Can you imagine doing anything perfect for almost 10 years?
If you are struggling with writing your résumé, and you can’t hire a competent resume writer, then I hope the following 9-9-9 plan will work for you.
The first 9 are straight forward:
1. Remove your physical house address.
2. Toss your super vague OBJECTIVE, SUMMARY, SUMMARY OF QUALIFICATIONS that says nothing. Create a contribution statement than feeling obliged to filling in this space.
3. Delete interrupters such as “…as well as…”—it douses the fire you want in your résumé.
4. Castrate adjectives. 1 or 2, are fine. More than this borders on bragging than evidential.
5. Replace or banish overused words (check how many times you use provide, ensure etc.).
6. Change the italics, underlines, and funky fonts (not all scanners will pick up creative fonts).
7. Redo the challenge, action, but no result, or, challenge without an action or results. Each description should contain all three elements.
8. Revise the use I, we or me. Although acceptable and debatable in writing federal resumes, in the private or civilian sector it’s unacceptable. Your résumé is describing you.
9. Edit the long paragraphs that almost say something, but fails to say anything.
The second 9 apply carefully
10. Age identifying information. I have always said exclude jobs that go back more than 15 years. If your degree is past 1995, leave the year off. If the position doesn’t require a degree, consider omitting the degree entirely.
11. Too much information for the wrong reasons such as age, religion etc. Things like the address and zip code is an unnecessary evil.
12. Three pages is too long for civilian and private industry résumés. Three to five-page resumes are common, and acceptable. If it doesn’t have to be four or five pages, then consider condensing.
13. It looks more like a “to-do” list. So you copied, and pasted the job description on your résumé, and it looks like a longer job description. Why would an employer ask for a résumé if everyone copied and pasted the job description, when they want to know how you contributed?
14. Company speak. If there is language that only your company uses that you include on your résumé, you will lose the reviewer.
15. Antiquated and unknown file attachments of your résumé. This is a crime in all states, but most employers will not tell you that they cannot open your attachment. Everyone can open a .doc Word extension or a PDF version.
16. Resume is broadly written for more than one position. Since most resumes keyword scanned for one position, and not having enough keywords can only achieve minimal results. One résumé, one position.
17. Lacking description with action verbs at the beginning of sentences. It is not possible to write a challenge, action, and result in four words or less. People will generally insert action verbs for most of their résumés instead of being consistent with verbs throughout the entire resume.
18. Bragging and boasting without quantifiable measures and results. No one’s impressed if you say that you are “dynamic” or “excellent” without substantiating that you are…awesome.
9 Ingredients to Market Yourself and Your Resume
19. Sprinkle and not pour your résumé to the job market. Think twice about sending 100 résumés monthly (or weekly), and consider sending 25 monthly (or weekly). Research, and talk to a person before sending.
20. Know the name. Don’t forward a résumé without a name, even if the posting says to do so.
21. The prize is to customize. One résumé, one employer.
22. Emphasize “how well,” not only on “how.” The two signs that catches the eye are the $, and the %.
23. Cast a spell…checker for the secret ingredient. It’s the sugar that makes the medicine go down.
24. Knoweth thy resume submission rules. Strict guidelines are a source of immense frustration if you lack the understanding.
25. Keywords are not just action verbs. That is all.
26. Don’t master the art of “almost” saying something. Say it, qualify it, quantify it, succinctly, and watch the commas splices.
27. Don’t be afraid to sell yourself. No one else will.
Feel free to add others in the comment section, as there are plenty more infractions.