The following comes from an article I wrote for EBONY on common resume mistakes. You may notice something a little familiar if you read my last post on writing a professional summary. If not, this will be completely “fresh” to you. Either way…enjoy!
Your resume is the most important document in your job search. Everything on it needs to add value. But sometimes, we add elements to our resumes that take away from all the hard work we’ve put into it. From a recruiter’s perspective, here are seven things that could be subtracting from the value of your resume.
Bland Objective Statement
There’s a big difference between an objective statement and a professional summary. Unfortunately, a lot of people still go with the former. They lead with an objective like “To contribute to the company’s bottom line by applying knowledge gained through coursework and struggle,” or “To continue developing professionally and to apply what I’ve learned as a professional in my profession to drive organizational bliss.” This adds no value. Instead of a bland objective statement, try a professional summary that captures your years of experience, relevant skills, certifications and memberships, and the industries you’ve worked in.
There’s no point in saying you’re a motivated, innovative and passionate problem solver with a keen eye for detail. That should come across in your experience. List specific problems you’ve solved and show your passion in your affiliations and activities. Check out this list of cliché descriptors and see if anything from your resume made the list
Clunky Skill Matrices
Do you have a table filled with skills at the top (or bottom) of your resume? If so, you may be wasting space and irritating recruiters. Listing all of your skills may help with getting keywords in your resume, but you should be using those keywords when you’re describing your experience (Noticing a theme here?). Additionally, those tables don’t always play nicely when uploaded into applicant tracking systems. Don’t make a recruiter’s job more difficult – if even for a moment. A little secret: When I was a headhunter, I’d usually drop the skill table from resumes before sending them over to clients.