There's no doubt that looking for a new job is hard work. It’s time consuming, stressful and nerve wracking. Unfortunately, if you don’t set yourself up well with your resume from the beginning, you can really sabotage your efforts from there on out. Make sure you haven’t made these three lazy mistakes on your resume:
1. Your resume has to be perfect – that is grammatical error, misspelling and typo free. There is no excuse for any type of error on your resume. You’ll be instantly judged for it and tossed over to the non-candidate pile. Not fair, yes, but when you have 183 resumes to comb through, you grab whatever reason you can to reduce the size of the pile. Yes, it is understandable that you have been working on your resume until your eyeballs bleed and you didn’t see the typo, or your spell check very kindly gave you the wrong word, but there is no leeway on this. Have someone else read it to check it, as “fresh eyes” will often be able to see what you didn’t or couldn’t anymore. Or try this copywriter’s trick and read it backwards sentence by sentence. This is the way to trick your brain so that it won’t fill in on the words that should be there or are misspelled.
2. Objective: “A progressively challenging, well-compensated position in information technology that will allow my experience and knowledge to be an asset to the company.” It’s lovely that you know what you want out of life, but save it for your journal. Employers don’t care. They want to know what’s in it for them. Ditch these tired objectives that everyone copied from everyone else and write something that means something to the reader, like, “Highly skilled Network Engineer with expertise in configuration, support, and troubleshooting of hardware, network and software systems.” There’s no doubt about what this guy is going to handle for his next employer. This is closely related to the last lazy mistake…
3. If you suffer from not knowing what you want to be when you grow up or have worked in a series of unrelated jobs, that’s OK. It’s something most people have experienced at one time or another. Just don’t shout it from the mountaintops with your resume. Your resume must communicate how you are the best candidate for the job/jobs that you are applying for. Don’t make the lazy mistake of sending out the same resume with a massive bulleted laundry list of your skills and expect the employer to sift through it and figure out how you’ll be an asset. Spell it out for them - point out every facet of your experience that fits in with their job posting/description. You can use the same resume for jobs with similar job titles, but if you’re pulling a switcheroo, you have to change up the resume.
Avoiding these three mistakes will take more work at the outset, but in the end, your job search will go faster if you take the time to start out right.