Don’t bring up
the negatives of your past working experience!
We all have ‘bad’ situations, colleagues or bosses
in our careers. Best leave these out of your resume. If you do get an
interview it is likely you will be asked… “what
was the worst thing about your last job”? Don’t be
tempted to bag your past employers or bosses. The best solution is to
say something like “as with all jobs it had its ups and downs
however my experience with Xyz Company was 99% positive from both a
work quality and personal development point of view”.
Avoid mentioning anything about politics, religion and personal
interests or groups.
Some people are Rotarians, Masons, political activists,
‘greenies’ or Sunday school teachers…
none of these issues have a place in your resume. I have even seen
statements such as “mother of three
children”… big deal… this is not the
employers concern, what you do with your private life and the choices
you make are up to you. The employer is interested in what he or she
needs to get done and all the above issues may be seen as negatives.
Don’t embellish on your reality.
If you have only had part-time jobs so be it. If you are still studying
mention that and add an estimated completion date. If you have been
given leadership roles in sporting teams, debating teams or even your
schools chess club just a brief mention will do. One way to at least
partly compensate for little or know work experience is to invest in
personality, psychological, emotional intelligence or work styles/team
roles testing. You then need to get the tester to comment positively on
Don’t apply above your resume’s value.
If you (and your resume) can’t clearly demonstrate that you
have the capacity to fulfil the job requirements being sought
don’t waste your time sending your resume and hoping for a
miracle. Apply for jobs that you know you can handler that are likely
to lead to more stretching positions or responsibilities in the future.
The picture you paint with your resume must match the image in the
employer’s mind and the level of salary and responsibility
that is being offered.
Make sure your resume contains plenty of action verbs.
Examples include: worked, lead, managed, coached, planned, controlled,
researched, collected, taught, delivered, supervised and sold.
Keep your resume current
As I mention on the “free blank resume form” page
of my website doing your resume at least once a year will give you a
great idea regarding how you a placed in relation to what either your
current employer wants or what potential employers are seeking.
Remember though, this generic resume must be updated and personalized
or matched to the advertisements key words and requirements before
being submitted to individual employers. For example if your particular
industry is using a new technology you must attend a course or find a
way to keep up with the changes as they occur, even secretaries know
that typewriter are outdated and being competent in word processing
programs is essential (to quote and old example).
Remember your resume’s main focus is to convince the
1: Hiring you will solve one or more of his or hers problems!
2: Your competencies match the jobs specifications in the
3: Your character and work ethics are of the highest standard.
4: Your capacity to learn and adapt is above that of other job seekers.
5: You have a sound understanding of your potential employers industry
6: You have researched and have a good understanding of the
company’s place in its industry and it’s vision,
mission and values.
7: That you are concise and to the point. The shorter your
resume is the better (obviously providing that all the job
specific information that has been advertised for is covered).
8: That you are an orderly well organised person by making sure you
have a clean uncluttered and flowing resume set out. I once worked in
advertising and white or blank spaces definitely add clarity,
don’t clutter in an attempt to cram more in.
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