By Nina Rakic
It’s official. The walls have been painted, the boxes unpacked – we’ve moved into a digital age. Does that mean that we’ve also moved past the resume and onto the Linkedin profile? In part, yes. Your potential employer will certainly check you out online and cross reference what you publish with what you print. They will also expect you to present a crisp resume in a neat folder on which they can take notes during your interview.
Considering how important resumes continue to be, I suggest you take a preventative approach and make sure that your resume is on point at the time of submission. It’s likely that your potential employer has not met you yet, so their impression of you starts to form through reading your resume. Below are 6 tips to keep in mind this recruitment cycle that will help you help your interviewer form the right image about you.
Making grammatical errors and typos.
“Let’s eat grandma!”
“Let’s eat, grandma.”
Need we say more? Perhaps, though we shouldn’t have to. We live in an age where online, free services are accessible to anyone with a computer or a library card. These mistakes are avoidable and indicate to your interviewer that you don’t really care about the application. Which isn’t true. Arguably, it is hard to catch your own mistakes, especially after having reviewed your resume for the zillionth time. Reach out to a friend or attend our Pre-Conference Workshop for some extra help.
Submitting incorrect information.
“Well, duh.” You might be thinking, and you’re right: this does seem obvious. We aren’t talking about including wild stories of fabricated world travel and the four languages you don’t speak (though you shouldn’t include those points if they’re not true either). We’re talking about that 3.0 GPA that’s actually a 2.8 or a job title that doesn’t quite match the description.
Little mistakes like that are the best way to show your employer that you are not detail oriented. Luckily, this mistake is easy to mitigate. Read, edit and repeat.
Not using keywords that are found in the job description.
A lot of the time a hiring manager or recruiter has dedicated a time block for reading resumes. This means that yours could be the 1st, or the 251st resume under review. At this point your resume is getting a scan, at best, until it truly catches the viewer’s eye.
Looking at the “requirements” or “qualifications” section of the job description you’re applying for and other similar ones will give you a good place to start. The jargon that’s repeated is the jargon you should use and use often (so long as it’s grammatically correct). Be wary of just copy and pasting from the job descriptions as well – it will be noticed and could undermine the hard work you’ve actually done. The same should stand for your cover letter, though, that’s a topic for another article.
Actually, writing things that don’t relate to the job in general is a bad idea.
Yes, this does mean that you’re likely going to be writing unique resumes for each job you’d like to apply to. We never said that recruiting was easy, but the hard work pays off. Hiring managers and recruiters have likely been hiring for a long while and can spot a clone from a mile away. Recycling a resume used for one job might also mean keeping information in it that is not relevant to another job.
Not writing enough
There is a fine line between too much information and not enough. While there is no universal definition of where this line in, here are some things to keep these things in mind and you should be all right:
- Don’t underplay your responsibilities. It’s okay, you’ve done a lot and there is no shame in that. Just save some for the interview too.
- Be specific. The problem/idea was XX I did XX to solve/implement it and XX were the results. Checkmate.
- Quantify as often as possible. This is a good way of showing evidence of your work without being too verbose.
Getting out of hand with formatting.
Simply put, a flashy resume get’s you the wrong kind of attention. It takes away from the content and make it seem like you’re overcompensating. If you are overcompensating, the hiring manager or recruiter will catch on soon enough and your efforts will be for naught. There are ways to beef up your resume like participating in competitions (like our Case or Moot Competitions), volunteering outside of work (OOBS recruitment opens this September!) or taking job-specific training or workshops. Basically, if you’re not there yet, you can be. Even if you’re applying for a marketing or media role, it’s good to err on the side of caution while keeping in mind your audience. The manager will request to see your portfolio anyways meaning your creative mind will have a place to shine.
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These are just a few tips and tricks from a former recruiter, a Out On Bay Street volunteer and a successful hire from the conference. Though, there is so much more to learn! Those that bought tickets prior to August 1st are welcome to do so at our Pre-Conference Workshop taking place on Saturday August 19th.