Blogging with BG: Can your resume get you the interview?

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This is the first in a series of posts teaching you exactly how to write a job ready resume.  I am Byron Goynes, Business Engagement Specialist II at Workforce Connections.    On average, I read two hundred or more resumes per week on behalf of the employers I recruit for.  I would estimate that sixty percent of those resumes have issues.   I often ask myself if the job seeker understands the importance of the resume.  Besides a college degree or an internship, building a solid resume is arguably the most important step to landing a job.  My advice is based on real world hiring experience.

First of all, a resume is a brief written account of personal, educational, and professional qualifications and experience. The resume separates a good candidate from a great candidate when job searching.  Having the experience and the skills that match a job is obviously important.  So, when the experience and skills are not listed on the resume that is obviously a huge mistake.

That begs the question . . . What are some of the most common resume mistakes a job seeker makes?

My experience tells me the following six mistakes are all too often made:

Don’t include irrelevant experience

While you may think that a resume full of every notable thing you’ve ever achieved in your life would set you apart from the rest, irrelevant additions actually distract from qualities that would make you viable candidate.

Avoid using fillers and generic phrases

Fluff words like “team player” and “hard-working” do nothing to help build your case.   Instead, provide specific examples of them in action.   For example, instead of listing “team player” talk about a specific project that you successfully led the team on.

Leave off personal information

While this was standard practice back in the day, it’s unnecessary and can date your resume. Things like marital status, religious preference, age, and race. These things have nothing to do with your job skills and although employers aren’t supposed to allow them to be a factor, they can be more of a hindrance than a help.

 Remove unnecessary additions

The objective statement, hobbies, or references on your resume in no longer needed. These additions take up valuable space that can be better used to display your qualifications for the job. If you make it to the point in the interview process where a prospective employer needs to contact your references, they’ll ask for them.

 Use a professional email address

This may seem simple, but you’d be surprised how many people overlook this small detail. While “DropItLikeItsHot ” may have been the perfect email address for your high school days, it’s inappropriate in a professional setting. Set up a free account using a variation of your first and/or last name on a service like gmail or yahoo for use in professional settings.

Proofread, proofread, and proofread!

The simplest mistake to fix is also one of the most common. We all get in a hurry and make typing mistakes, but they reflect poorly on the prospective job seeker applicant. Take the time to read over your resume to not only check for spelling mistakes but also to ensure that everything flows & will clearly convey your experiences to the reader.

Good luck getting the job with a winning resume!