You have been working very hard at your resume and cover letter, posting them online and mailing them out. Yet nothing is happening for you. There have been no phone calls to request interviews; not even a phone interview. You realize the economy is not 100%, but it’s not that bad.
You really are qualified and your experience is extensive. Why are you getting passed over and not getting hired? You have excellent performance appraisals and recommendations. All of this is on your resume. Where is the disconnect?
What’s Wrong With My Resume?
Most professional resume writers would tell you not to include an objective at all. If you need to put something at the top of the page, make it an overview of your skills. Don’t write an objective that sounds like you can walk on water and solve every problem a company might have. Don’t use code words like ‘seasoned professional’. Everyone knows that means you have been in the workforce a long time. Don’t make it sound like you will just be using this job to get to the next one.
Experience that is Irrelevant
Do not list jobs that have no relevance to where you are in your career now. Do not list part time jobs unless you have never worked full time. Unless you are applying for an entry level position don’t list your high school job at McDonalds.
Achievements are important, really important. However, they need to be real and they need to be relevant. If you won the Betty Crocker Homemaker Award in high school, it is not relevant. If you won an honors scholarship in college that may be relevant. However, it is not relevant if you have been out of college and in the workforce for 20 years.
Relevant achievements are the money you saved your company last year. Don’t say “I saved money.” Instead say, “Cut department’s expenses by 34% , saving the company over $50,000 in 2013.” These are the kind of achievements you want on your resume.
Some people are advocating putting a picture of yourself on your resume. This is a very European thing to do and most American hiring managers will either not care or be put off by it. Play it safe. No pictures on your resume.
Don’t put any personal information on your resume. Don’t say you are married or divorced. Don’t say you have 3 children. Religion, political affiliation, or anything else that is purely personal does not belong on your resume and could be held against you. It is illegal for an employer to discriminate based on most of these things. That is why they will not ask you about them in the interview. Don’t volunteer the information.
Inappropriate Email Address
You do want to list an email address where the company can contact you. However, if the only email address you have is firstname.lastname@example.org, then get a new one. Use a Gmail or Yahoo address with your name or initials. Make it professional. This one item at the very top of your resume might be the one thing that costs you an interview.
Negative Comments and Stressing Weakness
Don’t offer negative comments or stress your own weaknesses. Don’t point out gaps in your employments unless you can explain them. Don’t ever state that you were fired from a job. Never make negative comments about a previous company or a previous boss.
Avoid these mistakes that will keep you from being hired.
About the Author: Gerald Buck is the editor of ejobapplications.com, a site offering job applications and resourceful information. He is passionate in providing advice to those seeking job opportunities.