We’ve spent the last couple of weeks talking about employee engagement and your work’s purpose, but sometimes it just isn’t meant to be and you need to get that resume back up to date. A Revolutionary Assistant’s resume should speak for itself, but if you really want to set yourself apart from the crowd, there are a few things you should avoid.
“Resume” – When I’m looking through resumes, I am amazed at how many times I see that word at the top of people’s resumes. Do I not know what I’m looking at? Adding “Resume” to the top of your resume, like it’s a title, is just redundant. Don’t include it.
“Unemployed” – If you’ve got gaps in your employment history, don’t call them out by putting in a line item that gives dates and says “unemployed.” That’s just pointing out the bad stuff. Include the companies you’ve worked for and the dates you worked there, and let the gaps speak for themselves. Your new employer will notice them and still want to address them, but there’s no sense in calling it out.
Objectives – I am personally irritated by objective statements at the top of a resume. I know that your objective is to become employed by my company, and that you have X, Y, and Z skills that you’d like to use. I prefer to see what kind of experiences you’ve called out in your past positions to see if there’s an indication that you can do the job we need you to do.
Skills – I find the list of computer programs you’re familiar with equally annoying. If I’m looking for someone who’s going to be using Microsoft Access 75% of her day, I’d like to see that addressed as a bullet point in the resume or maybe even in the cover letter. What I don’t need to see is that you’re an expert in MS Word and have intermediate knowledge of MS Excel and…yawn. It just takes up space. Look at the job description and make sure that you reassure your future employer that you are familiar with the applications that are important to them.
Personal Information – It’s not only irrelevant, it’s actually not legal for companies to ask you about your marital status, whether you have kids, how old you are, or anything else. Don’t include it on a resume and make your prospective employer squirm. And don’t include a photo either!
“References Available Upon Request” – Don’t worry, they’ll ask. If you include it, you will seem overanxious.
I probably don’t need to mention that misspellings, bad grammar and bad formatting are also big no-nos on a resume, but I don’t mind saying it again. The last ten or twelve resumes I’ve reviewed (and I usually review them AFTER they’ve been hired), have included some sort of error that almost blinded me. Don’t be that guy. Your resume speaks to the quality of work you do, and it should be perfect. There’s no second chance at a first impression. – make sure yours is revolutionary!
Next Post: Wednesday, October 18