What’s Ruining Your Resume?
by Linda Matias
you commit to finding a new job, your resume becomes an obsession. That’s
understandable since so much of your career success is riding on the resume
language and layout you choose. Sometimes that pressure can be paralyzing
and leave you unsure of how to revise a new draft or an outdated version of
your resume. Below are three common issues jobseekers do that ruin their
resumes, and in turn, minimize their chances for getting interviews.
Empty phrases / words
Human resource managers roll their eyes at words they see over and over
again in a resume (e.g., team player, detailed oriented, reliable). But the
issue isn’t those specific words. It’s in the way the jobseeker uses them.
For illustration purposes, let’s use the phrase team player has an example.
Most jobseekers use the phrase in an uncreative way such as, “Strong team
player.” That sentence leaves a lot to be desired and the phrase reads
That said, when attached to an accomplishment the phrase team player is
impactful. Such as in this sentence: Valued team player who partners with
internal departments, including sales and marketing to capture
multimillion-dollar contract agreements.
This sentence has substance, something the human resource manager can
bite into and get a sense of the successes you have secured throughout your
career. In turn, she will be more apt to call you in for an interview than
if you simply wrote, “Strong team player.”
Use care in choosing words that reflect your professionalism and
background. Sprinkling in words that don’t define who you are will make your
resume suspect. As an example, many jobseekers use the word “loyal” in their
resume, but a quick read of the resume reveals they held three jobs in the
last five years.
This is a red flag for the human resource manager, not simply because of
the job hopper image, but also because the jobseeker doesn’t take enough
care to write a resume that speaks to who they are. Instead, they choose to
put together a resume with language they think the human resource manager
wants to hear.
The lesson here is to highlight who you are, and never focus on who you
think you should be. Human resource managers will respond more readily to a
resume that sounds true than one that has the language thrown in just for
the sake of it.
Too Many Accomplishments
For some jobseekers, letting go of accomplishments is difficult to do.
After all, they worked hard on building an impressive stack of achievements
and they want to highlight them all so a human resource manager is exposed
to their full breadth of experience.
That’s a fair view point, and it’s understandable. That said, the plan
backfires when there are an overwhelming amount of accomplishments that the
ones that matter most are buried.
At that point, the jobseeker is defeating the purpose of the resume
because a resume isn’t a contest of which jobseeker accomplished more in
their career. It is, however, a contest of who has the most accomplishments
that align with the responsibilities in the job posting. Keep that lesson in
About the Author
Linda Matias is a Nationally Certified Resume
Writer who heads CareerStrides.com. You can reach her at
request a resume quote. You can also visit her website at
www.careerstrides.com to review
sample resumes and cover letters.