8 Still Common Executive Resume Errors
Human resources managers spend little time scanning resumes, which means you need to jump from the page to warrant more of their precious times. Should you do it by listing your special ability to moonwalk? Executives may feel they’re above the common resume blunders; however, in the race to stand out the urge to be creative never seems to go away.
Don’t. Do. It. If you want to be creative, take art lessons, go dancing, or write that poem you’ve always had in your head. But don’t deviate from the standard in resumes, it never, ever gets you anywhere. In addition to leaving the creative touches off, what are some of the more common error seen in executive resumes?
Spelling mistakes: It seems trite, but spelling errors are still common in on the most high-level resume. After you think your resume is perfect, put it aside for a few hours or overnight, then go back and read it out loud. Remember, spell-check doesn’t correct errors like ‘pubic financing’ for ‘public financing’ or ‘kills’ or ‘skills.’
Lengthy Resume: The longer you’ve been in the workforce, the longer your resume becomes, especially if you’re highly accomplished. Get rid of positions in the distant past and trim the information you give about each position. True highlights only!
TMI: What do you do in your spare time? Recruiters really don’t care, unless your hobby somehow fits in with your work. Just list community, business, or charitable organizations to which you belong.
Not adding value: Are you telling us what you did at the company or are you telling us what value you brought to the company? There is a difference.
One Size Fits All: Not! Each position you’re applying for deserves the individual attention and consideration you would like from each company. Design and write your resume to reflect the position for which you are applying.
Verbs: Use them! But don’t be passive, use action-oriented verbs, such as influenced, spearheaded, etc. Also, use a thesaurus and mix up your verb use.
Photos: Another idea to forget about, unless you are specifically asked to include one. It can lead to sticky legal issues for human resources, so it’s much easier to move your resume to the ‘no’ pile.
Buzz: Avoid devoid-of-meaning buzzwords. Shake the corporate from your head and replace shop-worn words and phrases with descriptions of the value you bring. Avoid: team player, fast-paced, entrepreneurial, dynamic, results-oriented, etc, etc.
Although humor is important, your resume is no joking matter. Make sure you take your time and maximize your resume. When done well, it can be the key that opens the door of opportunity.