Before you start your job search, of course you need a crisp resume. You may decide to do it yourself, but if you do, there are some pitfalls to look out for. You want your resume to look as executive as you are.
Here are some common mistakes that executives make when writing their own resumes:
1) You use a format that doesn’t look executive. It’s easy to pull up a template on the Internet and use that to craft your resume. But if that format doesn’t say “executive” on first glance, you could prejudice a recruiter who is screening your resume against you before the person even reads your content.
2) The content doesn’t convey the scope of your responsibilities. Sometimes executives are overly concise when writing their resumes. They assume that anyone in their field would know from their job titles that they have the skills required. But HR professionals cannot assume anything when they read your resume. You need to spell things out for them in some detail without getting into overkill. By skimping on the overview of your duties, you could lead your reader to believe that you really haven’t done much in your different positions.
3) You don’t highlight quantified accomplishments. A resume without crisply worded, powerful, quantified accomplishment statements is not likely to be noticed. Many job seekers make the mistake of simply listing their duties. But a laundry list of duties makes a job seeker sound like everyone else who has done similar work. Accomplishments distinguish you from your competition. And they show that you have actually made a contribution to the organization’s bottom line.
4) You provide too much data. Generally speaking, by the time you reach the C-suite, you have a lot of experience. Sometimes it is difficult for executives to distinguish what is really important from what isn’t on the resume. The result is a resume that is too long and overly wordy. And since recruiters are typically short on time, a lengthy document only gives recruiters a reason to move on to the next candidate.
5) The document is not easy to read. Make it easy for the recruiter to say yes to your resume and pass that document on to the hiring manager. You will accomplish this objective by making the resume visually appealing. Use special effects such as bold, italics, and bullets judiciously so that you intentionally draw the reader’s eye to items on your resume that you want to stand out. If you use these special effects too liberally, nothing will stand out.
By avoiding these types of mistakes, you can increase your chances of making the first cut in the hiring process.
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