Who knew there would be so many rules to writing a successful résumé? Margins need to be a specific size, certain fonts should be avoided, and it is advised that you follow a particular organization structure, depending on the job you’re pursuing.
According to Jamie Hichens, Senior Talent Acquisition Partner at job site Glassdoor, “The language or content of a résumé can definitely tank a job seeker’s chances of landing their dream job.”
As you upgrade your résumé, be on the lookout for these words and phrases–you only have a few seconds to catch the eye of a hiring manager, make these seconds count.
1. An objective statement.
No need to take up valuable resume space with an unnecessary objective statement. “Is your career trajectory pretty straightforward and lacking major gaps between jobs? Then you probably don’t need an objective statement,” recommends Glassdoor writer Caroline Gray.
Your accomplishments should be substantiated with numbers. Whether actual numbers or percentages, you need to provide specific context to potential employers whenever you talk past achievements.
Here’s an example of avoiding generalizations and using numbers to your advantage:
As a team member, contributed to 21% increase in advertiser spend by achieving 158% of target number of customer contacts (80 contacts per week) and 192% of target interaction depth (20 minutes per customer).
Proofread your résumé more than just once or twice, and have your friends or colleagues take a look too. A CareerBuilder survey revealed that 58 percent of résumés have typos. So, be on the alert for grammatical errors, incorrect alignment, and more–otherwise, a hiring manager will think you don’t pay attention to details.
On hobbies, Elizabeth Harrison, Client Services Manager and Senior Recruitment Partner at Decision Toolbox, says, “Content that does not relate to the job and does not address what qualifications a candidate has for a job can absolutely eliminate a candidate who may have accomplished many of the tasks that job is looking for, but was not articulated in the résumé.”
5. Cliched words and terms.
Avoid using overused business buzz words in your résumé that actually don’t mean much in the real world. Words like:
What exactly does synergy mean in a business context anyway? What does it have to do with your performance or your skills or your experience? Overused and played out.
Like synergy, this word has been overused for the last few years. It is not very descriptive, so take it out of your resume.
Being punctual is an expectation as an employee–table stakes. Don’t waste precious résumé space on something that should already be a given.
Show, don’t tell. All stories about collaboration should be included in your résumé–it is much more convincing to give details on why you actually are a team player, rather than just labeling yourself as one.
If you’re intimidated by all these rules while crafting something as simple as a résumé, don’t be. Résumé standards exist so your past work experience can be presented and understood clearly, and so you can land a job interview.
And, ultimately, that’s the goal of writing a résumé in the first place.
Published on: Jan 18, 2020
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.