In a time where many Americans are desperately searching for employment, it is important to find ways to help allow for more opportunities to set up interviews with potential employers and set yourself apart from the rest. The initial touch with most potential employers is through forwarding over your resume, so this begs the question: Is your resume up to snuff?
In a previous blog entry, we provided our readers with some Resume Tips to help build that perfect resume. In addition to these tips, we also found this great article from Forbes entitled, “Final Cut: Words to Strike from Your Resume”. Here’s a summary of just some key points made by the article’s author.
- Career Objective. This is a common item found on resumes. A statement like this front and center: “Career objective: To obtain a position as a [insert job title here] that leverages my skills and experience as well as provides a challenging environment that promotes growth.” This is not only boring, it’s ineffective and can make you seem juvenile. Most hiring managers look top to bottom, so this is the first thing they will be looking at when they view your resume. What’s unique about this? Absolutely nothing! It also takes up precious space to the recommended one-page resume.
- Experienced. This is a very over-used term, particularly since it doesn’t hold much weight. You can be “experienced” in something after you’ve done it once—or every day for the past 10 years. So drop this word from your resume and be specific. If, for example, you’re a Client Report Specialist, using a phrase such as “Experienced in developing client reports” is both vague and redundant. But sharing that you “Created five customized weekly reports to analyze repeat client sales activity”—now that gives the reader a better idea of where exactly this so-called experience lies, with some actual results attached. Also eliminate: seasoned, well-versed
- Team Player. Again, a highly over-used and generalized term found on most resumes, so it doesn’t have the ability to set you apart from the other “team players” that are also applying for the position. Instead of “team player,” say “Led project team of 10 to develop a new system for distributing reports that reduced the time for managers to receive reports by 25%.” Using a specific example, you show what you can actually accomplish. But simply labeling yourself with a quality? Not so much. Also eliminate: people person, customer-focused
- Dynamic. While resumes are meant to highlight your best attributes, some personality traits are better left to the hiring manager to decide upon for him or herself. There is a difference between appropriately and accurately describing your work skills and just tooting your own horn. When it comes to resumes, keep the content quantifiable, show tangible results and successes, and wait until the interview to show off your “dynamism,” “enthusiasm,” or “energy.” Also eliminate: energetic, enthusiastic
- References Available Upon Request. This should be an obvious. It’s one of the biggest space-wasters and is completely unnecessary. If they want references, they will ask you and you will be expected to produce such references when requested. If not, you might as well not bother applying because you won’t get the job. Utilize this space to highlight your talents and accomplishments instead.
Sometimes less is more and every single word on your resume is important and should be thought out with a great deal of deliberation and attention. So, dust off that old, generic resume and give it a makeover to help bring you to the forefront and shine!
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