As a new college grad with an English degree and a full-time job at a great company, friends approach me time to time to help them find a job, fix up resumes, or spruce up LinkedIn accounts. (I should start charging for this. LOL!)
One of my close friends graduated in May and just started her job search. She has management experience in retail, is a great communicator and problem solver, and wants a job for which she can be creative. If you’re looking for a great hire – she’d be an amazing employee.
Anyway, she visited a family-friend who is a career coach and resume writer. When they finished writing her resume, she sent me a copy. It was the worst resume I had ever seen. It made these rookie mistakes:
- It was too long. Recruiters spend on average less than 7 seconds reading a given resume. If you don’t believe me, ask Forbes. When a resume is too long, the chance a recruiter sees what you want them to see significantly decreases. Which leads me to # 2…
- It included non-essential words. Because you only have a few seconds to make a great first impression, eliminate all non-essential words and really focus on your strengths and experiences.
- It included irrelevant information. Art side-projects you did to make a couple bucks in high school should not be on your post-grad resume (unless maybe you’re applying for an art job.) Hopefully by the time you graduate form college, you’ll have enough ‘stuff’ to put on your resume that you can just leave off any high-school related details.
- It excluded any form of soft skills. My friend is an amazing communicator, writer, problem solver, and a compassionate manager. Non of that was communicated by her resume.
- Her only skills were Microsoft Office and Social Media. WHAT? Oh hell no. How does that differentiate her from every single other college student in America? It doesn’t.
To a recruiter, your resume is a first impression. First impressions in real life matter, and they matter via resumes, as well. Make sure that your resume reflects you, and in a light that puts your best work-boot forward.