6 Blunders that Push Your Resume to the “Don’t Call” List

 

Many candidates unintentionally push their resume into the “don’t call” pile with several common errors. Many of these blunders are based on outdated thinking while others develop out of a desire to take advantage of that one moment when the hiring manager is screening your resume. Take a few moments and review your resume to make sure these blunders aren’t pushing your resume to the wrong pile!

1. Including Everything

Less is more with effective resumes. Don’t try to cram in all your work history or every keyword that comes to mind. Trying to include everything will only sabotage your resume by essentially hiding your good points under the weight of too much information. Most hiring managers only skim resumes, and if you have created an information overload the screening process is very likely to stop right there.

Change your thinking about your resume to create an effective hiring tool. Good resumes capture the reader’s attention while enticing them to learn more about you. Regurgitating your entire work history onto the page is not going to achieve that aim for you. Limit your work history to the last 10 to 15 years to be most effective.

2. Poor Organization

Including everything is indeed a form of poor organization. However, limiting the work history to the last 15 years may not be sufficient to reduce the amount of verbiage. Aim for a concise and succinct description of your jobs. Include no more than 5 lines in each description. Make the most of the prime real estate on your resume by including brief company descriptions as well. Doing so provides a context for your experience and accomplishments while saving space. Separate out accomplishments by highlighting a few well-chosen achievements in bullets.

3. Grouping All Jobs Together

You may have a great progression of positions with increasing responsibility at a particular company. In order to get the most out of these experiences, separate out each position with its own job description and achievements listed. You limit the effectiveness of your resume by putting all positions with the same company together. Not only is your clear progression blurred, but the reader may also be confused as to exactly what your contributions were. Unclear descriptions of past contributions do nothing in helping potential employers envision you as a successful member of their team.

4. Functional Format

Many job seekers choose a functional format that can also be confusing to the reader. A functional format does not present a clear progression of your career and requires the reader to invest more time in trying to determine what experiences match with each company. Although you want the reader to spend more time reading your resume, the functional format is not a productive way to achieve that goal. Using a reverse chronological format provides a quick snapshot of your history, and with careful presentation will entice the reader to keep reading and call you to learn more.

5. Cluttered Presentation

Many of these points address the issue of clutter in your resume. Additional factors to consider in presenting a clean appearance in your resume include how to manage the dates of employment. As long as you have a steady progression in your work history, including only the years of employment is the cleanest presentation. However, if you have had a number of short-term positions, including the month and year may help illustrate the actual length of employment.

Another common example of clutter on the resume is attempting to include every keyword you can associate with your profession. Be selective in your choice of keywords, using only those that clearly demonstrate your strengths.

Finally, including too much information about professional development experiences can work against you. Identify those training experiences that set you apart from the competition and include only those. Dates are typically not necessary for professional development activities, particularly for annual trainings.

6. Unprofessionalism

You must remember that you are being evaluated in every single contact you make with a potential employer. Personal email addresses such as sexygirl@ or lazyguy@ should never be used in your job search. Email accounts can be set up for free at many sites on the web. Setting up a new email account dedicated to your job search is a great idea to help you stay organized as well. An appropriate email address can be as simple as YourName@ and conveys a much more professional image.

Other unprofessional tactics include talking on the phone with prospective employers while at your current job or with dogs and kids in the background. Avoid these traps that could easily land your resume in the “don’t call” pile.

Making the most of your resume is the best tool for getting a call from the hiring manager. The resume is a carefully crafted calling card and with the right balance of information and presentation can spur the hiring manager to the action you desire. Make smart choices about what to include and how to present information in an effective way to gain the response you want. A strategic review and re-vamping of your resume may be just what you need to prompt that call. You have the power to make sure your resume is in the “Must Call” pile!

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Adding Pleasure to Your Business Trip

IB Analyst, New York, NY
Advertising Copywriter, Atlanta, GA
Analyst, Washington, DC
Strategy Consultant, SF Bay Area
Fund Accountant, New York, NY

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Oftentimes, the people who travel most for work are ironically the ones who have the most difficult time finding time to travel for personal purposes.  Perhaps it’s hard to find a good chunk of time to get away; or maybe the typical hassle that comes with airports and hotels is the last thing they want to deal with on their time off.  Whether or not this is the case, adding a little pleasure to a business trip can make constant traveling a lot more bearable.  And now that it’s summer and vacation is on everyone’s mind, a strategically planned business trip might actually double into that quick getaway you’ve been yearning for.  Here are some tips for spicing up those trips meant solely for work:

Plan Ahead

It’s hard to take advantage of what a new city has to offer if you’re doing it at the last minute.  However, if you do some research before your trip and figure out when you will have some spare time, you can plan to do a little sightseeing or fine dining on your own.  Not to mention, you’ll be more likely to stick with your plans if you think them through beforehand.

Spice up the Client Meetings

Wining and dining your clients is an expense that usually falls on your company’s tab, which is really nice.  But how many salmon dinners or rounds of golf can you take?  Try to plan some more interesting outings or explore unique restaurants in the area, so long as they allow you to maintain a professional environment.  Consider asking those local clients for suggestions on what they might like to do.

Squeeze in an Extra Day

Consider showing up a day beforehand or leaving a day after, especially if your business trip falls near a weekend.  It’s definitely possible to squeeze in personal activities between meetings, but it’s a lot less stressful if you have a day to yourself.  If you decide to do this, make sure to inform your boss of your plans, and to show him or her that you will be keeping business and personal expenses separate.

Bring Along Your Significant Other

Maybe your significant other has the flexibility and willingness to travel with you and spend time with you when you aren’t stuck in meetings.  If so, you can turn parts of your business trip into a small getaway, and explore the city and some nice restaurants together.  Again, be sure to keep your personal expenses separate, and to stay focused on work when you need to be. 

Traveling for work doesn’t have to be a drag.  All you need to do is find some creative ways to spend your down time, and a boring business trip can all of a sudden become a fun escape.

Happy traveling,

The Doostang Team

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Tricky Interview Questions

Analyst, San Francisco, CA
Operations Intern – Summer MBA, Atlanta, GA
Entry-Level Financial Analyst, Philadelphia, PA
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We’ve covered a lot of tough interview questions in past posts, and here we come at you with yet another round.  Sometimes interviewers ask us questions that are more on the tricky side.  It’s hard to know what to say – it often seems the best approach is to tell them what they want to hear, rather than the truth – and sometimes it’s just confusing why these questions are being asked in the first place.  Here are a few examples:

What Are Your Hobbies?

Why is this question relevant to the job you’re applying for, and why would the interviewer care enough to ask this in a formal interview?  Try to look at this question as a means for the interviewer to understand who you are a little better.  If you’re hired, you’ll be absorbed into the company culture, so the company wants to get a more complete picture of you as an individual.  Understanding what you do for fun can help the interviewer determine what your working style might be like.  It can also help them determine how a job will fit into your life, given what you do outside of your work.

How Would Your Coworkers Describe You?

Do you even know the answer to this question?  Could you really provide an accurate assessment of what others think?  This question is more of a way for the interviewer to find out what qualities you most value about yourself, as you likely assume that these are the same traits that others appreciate.  It also showcases how modest or overconfident you might be.  Here you might take the chance to describe some positive interactions you’ve had with coworkers, citing instances where you have collaborated with them on projects.  This will give you a way to back up your answer, as well as to imply that you are able to work well in a team.

Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years?

This question is tricky because it’s hard to tell if you should speak about yourself in five years at that company – after all, you don’t want to appear presumptuous, but you also don’t want to seem disloyal.  And what if where you want to be is in the seat of the person who is interviewing you?  Instead of focusing on what specific position you see yourself in, try to think of things you want to have achieved.  In what areas will you grow the most?  What goals do you have for your career?  After you’ve considered these questions, you can then turn your answer around and talk about ways in which you will be able to accomplish all of this at the company you are interviewing for, speaking about how your growth will be mutually beneficial for you and the corporation.

Some questions during the interview can seem like time wasters – and some are.  But interviewers often have underlying points they’re trying to get at, even if it’s just to see how you’ll react to a specific question.  Try to prepare for an interview as thoroughly as you can and keep an open mind when tackling tricky questions like these.

All the best,

The Doostang Team

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Doostang New Jobs This Week: March 7 – 13


Doostang has thousands of highly sought after positions at companies like Google, Goldman Sachs, Bain Capital, Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts, Summit Partners, Time Warner, Facebook, and more. Looking to get ahead in your job search? Be the first to apply to these exceptional NEW jobs just posted on Doostang.


Private Equity Analyst, Atlanta, GA – Top Boutique Private Equity Firm seeks a Private Equity Analyst.


Sr. Product Manager, Seattle, WA – One of the Most Popular Online Entertainment Destinations seeks Sr. Product Manager.


Investment Banking Analyst, Greenwich, CT – Technology-Focused M&A Investment Banking Firm seeks an Analyst.


Market Research Associate, Chicago, IL – Premier Multi-Disciplinary, Employee-Owned Consulting Firm seeks Market Research Associate.


Intern, New York, NY – Growth Private Equity Firm seeks Full-Time Intern.


Associate/Chief of Staff, Los Angeles, CA – Premier Boutique Search Firm seeks Associate / Chief of Staff.


Hedge Fund Analyst, Washington, DC – Hedge Fund Focused on Domestic Equity seeks Hedge Fund Analyst.

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Doostang New Jobs This Week: February 28 – March 6


Doostang has thousands of highly sought after positions at companies like Google, Goldman Sachs, Bain Capital, Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts, Summit Partners, Time Warner, Facebook, and more. Looking to get ahead in your job search? Be the first to apply to these exceptional NEW jobs just posted on Doostang.


Healthcare Analyst, New York, NY – Top-Tier Hedge Fund seeks Healthcare Analyst.


Management Development Associate, Los Angeles, CA – Top Industrial Supply Company seeks Management Development Associate.


Real Estate Private Equity Associate, Washington, DC – Well-Capitalized Real Estate Investment Manager seeks a Real Estate Private Equity Associate.


Healthcare Strategy Consultant, Burlington, MA – Top 50 Strategy Consulting Firm seeks Healthcare Strategy Consultant.


Associate – Technology Investment, Baltimore, MD – Top-Tier Entertainment Firm seeks Financial Analyst.


Management Development, Atlanta, GA – Preeminent Equipment Manufacturer & Distributor seeks Management Training.


Internship, Philadelphia, PA – Prominent Financial Consultancy seeks Intern.

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Doostang News February 28: Tips for Improving Your Networking – Part 2

Investment Banking Associate, New York, NY
Sr. Marketing Consultant, Atlanta, GA
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Welcome back to our second installment of tips for improving your networking skills.  Last time we discussed the importance of taking the time to really establish a meaningful connection with someone and of exchanging stories with the person you’re speaking to.  Both of these things help make you more memorable and create a basis for further conversation.  Read on for more tips on how to effectively chat people up at those networking events that we all love, oh, so much!

Create a Transition for Your Next Conversation

Once you’ve won over a contact at a networking event, the next battle becomes following up with them in a meaningful and relevant way.  Perhaps you feel comfortable approaching new people for the first time, but freeze up when it comes to following up with someone.  A good way to make this easier is to establish some basis for follow-up.  It can be as simple as telling them that you will get back to them with some piece of information, or paying close attention to a question they had and following up once you have an answer for them.  Or it may be as bold as scheduling a lunch meeting and actually following through with it.  Whatever it is that you decide to do, try your best to keep the conversation open when you say goodbye.

Become a Resource

It’s easy to list the ways in which others might be able to help us, and to attend networking events for the sole purpose of meeting such people.  But also try to consider how you could help others and make yourself available.  People seem most eager to follow up with someone when that other person is the gatekeeper to their next dream job or perfect connection.  Yet if you leave an event and find that there is some way in which you can aid someone you just met, try to be just as enthusiastic about getting in contact with that person.  If you do this, you will build a much richer network of contacts around yourself – ones that will be more likely to go out on a limb for you.

Embrace Social Media

As a follow-up to the in-person meeting, add your new contacts to your online social network.  The advantage of professional networking sites is that they grant your contacts access to all your information, including your resume if you choose to display it.  No matter how riveting of a conversation you had with another person, they’re not always going to remember all the details, so it’s helpful to provide that information afterward as well, and in a format that they can revisit.

Networking isn’t easy, but with these tips we hope it will be easier.  Just remember that in addition to everything, it’s important to be professional, friendly, and attentive – and hopefully this will render you unforgettable!

Until next time,

The Doostang Team

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Doostang New Jobs This Week: Jan 3 – 9


Doostang has thousands of highly sought after positions at companies like Google, Goldman Sachs, Bain Capital, Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts, Summit Partners, Time Warner, Facebook, and more. Looking to get ahead in your job search? Be the first to apply to these exceptional NEW jobs just posted on Doostang.



Investment Banking Analyst, Boston, MA – Boutique Investment Bank seeks an Analyst.


Jr. Associate, Chicago, IL – Analytics & Market Insight Group seeks a Jr. Associate Consultant.


Investment Banking Analyst, New York, NY – Boutique Investment Banking Firm seeks an Investment Banking Analyst.


Software Engineer, SF Bay Area, CA – Leading Online Coupon Company seeks a Software Engineer.


Sr. Strategic Planning Analyst, Atlanta, GA – Global Media & Broadcasting Company seeks a Sr. Strategic Planning Analyst.


Marketing Director, Brooklyn, NY – New & Innovative Social Music Platform seeks Marketing Director.


Investment Banking Analyst, San Diego, CA – Prominent Investment Banking Group seeks an Analyst.

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