Job Interviews

5 crucial resume mistakes you need to stop today!

There’s a few crucial statistics you need to know about resumes. According to Glassdoor, each corporate job offer attracts 250 resumes. Of those resumes, four to six people will get called for an interview, and only one will get the job. Additionally, TheLadders confirms that recruiters take an average of 6 seconds to scan a resume. Whilst it’s easy to hear these statistics and feel like it is hard to stand out in the job search process, it’s important to know there are a few tricks and tips to creating a resume that gets read every time.

When it comes to a resume, there is lots of confusion out there. It often seems like everyone has an opinion on what you should or shouldn’t be doing. Add to that a competitive job market and well, you can easily become overwhelmed in the process. Before we go any further, let’s just clarify exactly what a resume is and what it does. Very simply, a resume is a document which lists your skills, background, education and work experience. It is primarily used for obtaining a job interview. Notice I didn’t mention a resume is used for obtaining a job!

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Putting together a resume can be rather time consuming and overwhelming if you’re not sure how to go about developing one that gets read. With lots of different advice coming at your from your friends and family, it’s easy to get caught in the trap of trying to throw in everything. As a result you could be making some crucial errors that ensure your resume doesn’t get read. I’ve covered 5 crucial resume mistakes that could be stopping your from landing your next job interview!

Putting Your Age or Date of Birth on Your Resume

Let me put this very clearly to you. Don’t include your age or date of birth on your resume! Why? Because you’re inviting age discrimination. Yes, unfortunately it exists in this world. It’s hidden and often covert. But you need to be savvy about revealing it. Your age is of no relevance to your ability to do the job. You want the recruiter to assess you on your skills and experience for the job. Not automatically rule you out or in to a job because of your age. Hiring should be based on merit. So the focus in your resume should be on whether you can do the role. Age is no barrier to performing a role. There’s no rule that says you can’t do a role because of your age. Therefore, don’t give the recruiter a reason to discount you.

Including a Photo of Yourself

Now you’re probably saying that a photo helps the recruiter remember you. Also that it helps you to stand out in a crowded job market. Well, yes you are right. But not in the way you hoped. Think about it like online dating. When you enter the world of online dating, you upload a photo or several photos of yourself. You search for a suitable match, often focusing on whether you like person or not, based on their photo. I know, some of you look at information about the person. But in reality, you are often judging a suitable match based on whether or not you like the look of them. It’s the same thing when it comes to your resume. So leave your photo off!!

Your Resume Is Too Long

It’s often temping to want to include every role you have had in your career. Or maybe every achievement in your career. However, if you’ve had a solid 15 or so years in the working world, then this can make for a long resume. Long resumes are a sure way to ensure your resume won’t be read. So how long is a long resume? Anything more than four pages. Ideally, try to keep your resume to around two pages. Freaking out? It is helpful to remember what the purpose of a resume is. It’s a marketing tool to land you a job interview. It’s not a complete chronology that covers a lifetime of work. It’s about carefully capturing your experience which is relevant for the job or career you are seeking. I would also recommend customising your resume for each job application. Leading with your tangible skills is also a good tip to help recruiters easily identify your suitability for a role. If you’re finding it hard to shorten your resume, then reach out to a career coach or resume writer who can assist you with developing a professional resume and removing any unnecessary information.

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Not including dates of jobs

As someone who has read thousands of resumes, not including dates of jobs is really frustrating. When scanning a resume quickly, a recruiter wants to see how long someone has worked for a company. Longevity helps to inform about stability and commitment. Now, it’s not always the case, I know. But recruiters do want to see how long you worked at your past organisations. It gives them a sense of how your career has developed. Some roles need to have specific industry experience. This is where your dates come in. It’s easy to identify if you have the relevant industry experience or not. Additionally, not having dates doesn’t help the recruiter to get a sense of whether you are stable or you’re a frequent job changer. By having the dates there, it’s also easier for you to be able to recall and talk about your work history at your job interview.

Typos Or Spelling Errors

I really shouldn’t have to mention this one. But you’d be surprised to know that most resumes have a typo in them. You’ve got to remember your resume creates an impression. Submit a resume full of typos and errors, it doesn’t present you in the best way possible. Always use spell check and proofread your resume. It’s also recommended to get someone else to read your resume and check for typos. An error free resume is really 101. There are simply no excuses for any typos or errors, especially with all the spell check software available today.

Now it’s time for you to review your resume and see if you are doing any of the above. If so, then spend some time and remove or update your resume. Remember, it is about the brand – “YOU”. In the job search process, the resume is how you market yourself. You want to market yourself in the best way possible, right? It all start with your resume. Taking the time to ensure you have a resume that is easy to read and gets read every time, is your first step to landing your next job.

5 Tips To Ace That Job Interview!

I love a good movie. One of my favourites is The Devil Wears Prada. I love following the story of Anne Hathaway’s character Andy and her time working for one of the largest fashion magazines. Although she certainly got off to a rocky start. Remember Andy’s interview with Miranda Priestly? It’s fair to say she certainly didn’t make the best first impression. She hadn’t heard of the magazine and didn’t know who Miranda was. Let’s also not sugar-coat the fact she didn’t have impeccable fashion sense. Nevertheless, lucky for her she ended up landing the job and the rest is history.

Whilst Andy’s interview wasn’t the best start, there is a few things you can do to ensure your interview goes smoothly. You’ve sent off your resume and based on your experience and education, you’ve secured an interview. Yay!! The interview is really your time to shine. It’s not every day that you go for a job interview, so you need to take some time and plan for a successful outcome. To avoid making a first impression like Andy, here’s 5 tips to ensure you ace the interview and land yourself that job.

  1. Presentation

Let’s face the facts! People make a judgement about you within the first 30 seconds of meeting you. First impressions count and this is especially important when you are at a job interview. Whilst it’s unrealistic to think you can control what other people think of you, however you can make sure you are presenting yourself in the best possible way.

Dress to impress! I know there are plenty of workplaces that encourage casual dress, but the interview isn’t the time to show your casual wardrobe. Leave the jeans at home and put on some smart corporate attire. Ensuring you are dressed professionally for the interview sends a positive message about you.

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2. Be on time

Being on time is basic courtesy and says a lot about you. It goes without saying but ensure you know where you are going. Take some time to know your route. Will you be travelling via public transport or driving? Traffic can be chaotic and there can be unexpected delays with public transport so it’s best to build in some contingency time to avoid extra stress. Plan to arrive at least 10 minutes early. There are times when sh*t happens and you are delayed due to circumstances beyond your control. Be sure you have a contact number in case you are running late and phone to let the interviewer know you’ve been delayed. Whilst being late for your interview isn’t ideal, your potential new boss will be understanding if you’ve called ahead to let them know.

3. Research the company

With so much online these days, there is really no excuse for not conducting research into the organisation. In most interviews, you will be asked what you know about the organisation. At a minimum you should know what your company does and be able to confidently answer this question. What are their values or mission? Spend some time on the organisations website to learn as much as you can about them as your knowledge will be tested.

With the professional networking site of LinkedIn, it’s also a good idea to review the profiles of your interviewers. It helps you to understand their background and also to know how long they have worked for the organisation.  

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4. Engage with your interviewers

From the moment you meet your interviewers, make eye contact with each person and address each person by name. Similarly, when you answer a question talk directly to all interviewers, regardless of who is asking you the questions or who is more senior. I’ve interviewed many people in my career and it always amazes me how many people only talk to the person who will be their boss. It’s important to engage with each interviewer as each person who is part of the interview will be asked their opinion about you. I’ve often placed more importance on what my team members or peers think of the candidate, so don’t think that your new boss is the only decision maker. Connect with each person in that interview!

5. Ask questions

Always, always, have a few questions to ask. An interview is a two-way street, so asking questions is important for you to clarify something, understand more about the organisation, the job or environment you will be working in. Try to have at least three questions ready. These could be about the culture of the organisation, your potential boss’s management style or key objectives to focus on in your first three months.

Taking the time to plan and prepare for your interview helps set you up for success. These simple tips will help you put your best foot forward in your next job interview and secure your next role!

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