Common Mistakes in Resume, and in interviewing

DFN: Two most common blunders, in a resume, or in an interview, 1) Not focusing on the company’s needs 2) Not focusing on results. I inadvertently interviewed recently, and I focused solely on the companies needs. The interview turned out well, more later.

10/27/2009

Avoid The 2 Most Common Resume Blunders
Compliments of David Perry and Kevin Donlin
http://guerrillajobhunting.typepad.com/guerrilla_job_hunting/2009/10/avoid-the-2-most-common-resume-blunders.html

Mistake #1: Focusing on you and your needs.
This is the worst mistake you can make. Unfortunately, it’s also the most common.

Look, no employer wants to hire you. Employers hate hiring! They only hire employees when they have problems to solve. And no employer wants to spend a lot of time hiring you, either, just as you wouldn’t want to spend more time in a dentist’s chair than you had to.

So, your résumé must quickly answer the one question that’s on every employer’s mind: "What can you do for me?"

Unfortunately, most résumés don’t.

Most résumés start out like this: "Seeking a position where I can utilize my skills in an atmosphere with potential for career advancement …" And so on. This sounds fine and logical to the person writing the résumé. But it completely alienates the person READING the résumé. Because this person — your potential employer — has his own problems. He could care less about your career aspirations or desire to make more money.

Instead, tell the employer how you can add value to his/her operations, or contribute to efficiency. Notice this opening summary again:

SUMMARY

Seeking a position where 10 years of sales, marketing and management experience will add value to operations.

Now, what employer wouldn’t want to talk to someone like you, who’s offered to add value to his operations? You could also say: "… will contribute to operations" or "… will add to profitability." The exact words don’t matter. What does matter is your focus on helping the employer meet his goals. If you do that, your career will advance and you’ll make more money.

Mistake #2: Focusing on responsibilities instead of results.
While it’s important to tell the reader what you’ve done at each job, it’s far more important to spend most of your time talking about what you accomplished and how you made yourself valuable to past employers.

It’s easy to do. Just think back on your daily duties. What good things happened when you did your job well? Write them down! Focus on results. The more specific, the better!

Instead of saying this: "Responsibilities included (but were not limited to) implementation of policies and procedures, training of new employees, interfacing with subordinates and vendors, and light correspondence duties."

Say this: "Worked with staff and vendors to increase product turnover by 15% and sales by 23% in five months. Also trained 14 new employees, five of whom were rapidly promoted."

Action Step: I’ve read close to 5,000 resumes over the years, and more than 80% made one or both of these blunders. Avoiding them will put your resume ahead of the pack.

NOTE: you can download a proven how-to guide on resume writing, with dozens of copy-and-paste examples. It’s called Resume and Cover Letter Secrets Revealed and you can find it at this link – www.gresumes.com/book.htm


Doug

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