Current IT field related information

04 Dec 09 Avoiding Resume Mistakes When Job Hunting

Hunting for work means writing, or updating your resume numerous times.  Especially if you want to apply for a broad range of jobs, and increase the likelihood that you’ll be chosen for one.  The importance of personalizing your resume cannot be understated, especially if you want to stand out from the crowd.  But in addition to avoiding writing mundane formatted resumes, here are a few more pitfalls you’ll want to side step.

Make sure your resume is properly up to date.  The last thing anybody wants to see is an old resume that you’ve been using for a few years.  That shows no initiative, a lack of effort, and will reflect poorly on your work ethic.  You definitely don’t want a potential boss counting strikes against you before you even have a chance to interview.

Keep your resume professional.  While I always stress making your resume unique and tailored to each job that you apply for, don’t step out of the professional mold.  Keep your font generic and readable, and stick to the standard resume format.  Just tailor the information to each job that you apply for.  That’s the best way to make a great impression.

Don’t send your resume without a cover letter.  The cover letter is the standard starting point of any application, and a resume sent without one is incomplete.  The resume only serves as a list of professional accomplishments and goals, the cover letter is where you put these into perspective with your personality.  The cover letter sells you, and shows that you are the best employee for the job.  Take advantage of the opportunity.

Finally, make your objective statement absolutely clear.  You have to have a clear cut idea of what you intend to give, and get from the job you are applying to get.  This is extremely important to a potential employer, so you want the statement to be as clear and understandable as possible.  You wouldn’t want someone tripping over the first, and most vital part of your resume.

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31 Aug 09 Never Pad Your Resume

When writing your resume, it’s fairly normal to feel disappointed with the way that your work history, or academic accomplishments appear.  No matter how many of either you  have to add, the anxiety of searching for a new job can make you feel as though your resume just doesn’t measure up.  So many people choose to ‘pad’ their resumes, to make a more respectable document, more likely to garner the attention of potential employers.  But more often than not, that’s a very bad idea.

In case you didn’t know the term, padding your resume refers to adding accolades that aren’t true about yourself.  Whether it be false work history items, or false educational accomplishments, or even dishonest community contributions.  All are considered padding, and are wrong in the sense that you are being dishonest to companies that you are trying to attract.  Nothing really sets you on the wrong foot with a new company more than them discovering you lied in order to get the job.

Which is why if you are unhappy about how something appears on your resume, you should take advantage of explaining yourself in your cover letter.  If you don’t like a particular gap in your employment history, you have ample opportunity to put a positive spin on things through your cover letter.  The same with anything else you feel uncomfortable about, whether it be education, etc.

But mainly, padding is bad because it sets a bad precedent for your new job.  Even if you get the job, you’re not presenting yourself correctly.  That puts you and your company in an awkward position, as tasks you don’t have the skill to accomplish may be expected of you, and your new company is getting an employee that doesn’t have the skill set expected of them.  If it’s found out you lied on your resume, most places won’t hesitate to terminate you immediately, so that little bit of padding can really come back to bite you.

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