Unless you’re a professional resume writer, creating a winning resume isn’t easy. Writing a good resume takes time and effort, but writing a poor resume will surely go unread and end up in the trash is easy. In fact, the easier it was for you to write your resume, the greater the chances that you have sabotaged your resume.
Here are 5 surefire ways to sabotage your resume:
1. Use of soft skills descriptions on your resume
Almost all job candidates claim to have soft skills and they are so common that hiring managers ignore them. Don’t bore your reader with these worn and tired phrases. After all, you wouldn’t write that you eat long lunches, are lazy, fear change, or argue a lot with your peers.
Here are a few that you may have already included on your resume:
- excellent communication skills
- motivated by your goals
- strong work ethic
- nice presenter
- detail oriented
Instead, write descriptions that are action-based and demonstrate these skills rather than simply claiming them; sample do not say.
For example, instead of just saying you’re an excellent presenter, you could say something like Developed and presented 50+ multimedia presentations to C-level prospects, resulting in 35 new accounts totaling $ 300,000 in new revenue.
2. Giving away your age.
Many older workers face that terrifying moment known as early retirement and fear age discrimination. One trap that many people fall into is believing that they can counter this by showing that they are not ready for the nursing home. Rather than helping your resume, you’re messing with hiring laws and can make the problem you’re trying to hide highlighted in neon letters.
Phrases of age, health, appearance to avoid:
- young man
- to fit in
- professional appearance
Read this: Young-at-heart healthy executive ready to make a difference instead of playing golf all day. A fit and fit marathon runner looking for a position like xxxxxxxxx, the person could also have written to a 57-year-old man terrified of age discrimination and worried he might be overlooked by a younger candidate.
3. Use a passive voice on your resume.
The problem with the passive voice is that it is just that: passive! Your resume should have punch and shine and make you look like a proactive achiever. You can’t do that while using the passive voice.
Sentences indicative of the passive voice:
- responsible of
- duties included
- Served as
- actions covered
Instead of saying Responsible for the management of three direct reports, change it to Managed 3 direct reports. It is a shorter and more direct mode of writing and adds impact to the way the resume is read.
4. Passing over
The passive voice should be avoided, but also exaggerated sentences. Action verbs are great, but make sure you don’t overdo it.
Here are some exaggerated sentences that you actually see on resumes:
- smashed numbers through the ceiling
- electrified sales team to produce
- pushed the closing rate by 10 percent
Impact Value does just that, crashes. It’s not the feeling you want the reader to have, so remember to keep your resume professional and not overdo it.
5. Myers-Briggs and DISC profiles
If you’ve ever done one of these personality and style profiles, such as the Myers Briggs type indicator or the DISC profile, you can be very proud of the results. The truth is that employers and recruiters are more interested in performance results. Don’t inadvertently pigeonhole yourself by including your profile results on your resume.
Additional mistake, not reviewing your resume.
You would never dream of writing on your resume, you don’t pay attention to detail, or you can’t spell, you don’t know grammar or punctuation. I don’t know the difference between: his and there or where and using it, so why would you let your resume demonstrate such things?
Just doing the spell checker once is not enough, you have to check it manually and then check it again. Give it to a second or third person to check as well.
A resume is a marketing document for your career just like a brochure is a marketing document for a product or service. Make sure you market yourself the way you want to be perceived.