I have recently seen a wave of laziness when it comes to revising or updating a resume. Have candidates
forgotten that their resume can leave an indelible first impression? I believe there are several contributing factors for this laziness.
If you can manage to stay ahead of the following 4 issues, you will be putting yourself in a position to succeed in an increasingly competitive job market:
1. Do not rely on your LinkedIn profile to act as your resume.
Far too often I see people just save their LinkedIn profile to a PDF, call it their resume, and proceed with their job search. I get it. I really do. People are told to polish up their online presence, and they often start with their LinkedIn profile. That is indeed a good start, BUT only a starting point. Quite often our clients are asking to see more than a LinkedIn profile. That may show a few recent employers, but not a complete picture of what a candidate brings to the table. Plus a resume should be IN ADDITION TO a LinkedIn profile, not in replacement of a good resume.
2. Focus on content over presentation.
Instead of over-thinking the font or the overall outline of the format, focus primarily on what story you are trying to tell. Along with including the important details (dates of employment, titles, duties, etc.) be sure to include relevant details regarding achievements, promotions, contributions, designations, recognition, and more. It is especially critical for those to be current. If all you can manage to list is an award you won for outstanding service 22 years ago, you may want to really think hard about something you might have accomplished more recently. A good story does not need to have pictures and fancy fonts if the content is good on its own merit.
3. Have someone proof-read it before sending to anyone.
Seems like a pretty big no-brainer here, but I have seen resumes with the simplest of grammatical errors or missing pieces. It is clear that no one else took a peek before you sent it out. Again, this could be your one chance at making an introduction that sends the right message. Do you want that very first message to show that you aren’t detail-oriented and focused on making that first impression? It is an easy one, but often overlooked.
4. Include your social media accounts at your own peril.
This advice might seem counter-cultural, but be sure your affairs are in order before pointing anyone to these accounts. Facebook, of course, is the biggest culprit. Candidates think far too often that an employer seeing their Facebook account will show who they truly are and that it will always be a positive reflection. But review your posts and any tagged photos very carefully and very often. That good friend of yours from college that may not make good professional choices in their life could tag you in a photo or a post that could be deemed offensive. Why risk that? If there is anything there that is borderline inappropriate, be sure it is removed or cleaned up before you list it on a resume as a place to learn about your character.
In the digital age we live in, the calling card of a resume is quickly becoming a lost art. If you work diligently at making your resume effective, I believe you are setting yourself apart from the masses, and that could be exactly what lands you the next great career opportunity.
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