Today I was browsing for my daily dose of news and I came across an article that was titled “10 Boilerplate Phrases That Kill Resumes.” So I was immediately interested as I feel that my resume is pretty solid. I consider my resume (and do not look at the ones that you might find online as they are not up to date. I enjoy keeping people in the loop and confused as to why it is not updated. Of course, when if I was looking for a new job it would be updated.) a very important asset to any firm that I am working for. I have done a lot of things in my time that I think are worthy of being listed on a resume. But of course, you only have one page to talk about yourself, better yet sell yourself, to the potential employer.
Yes, I do mean one page. A lot of people think that 1-3 pages is OK. Well, guess what, you are wrong. Not 2 pages. Not 3 pages. 1 page is all that you need, and quite frankly that is too much for most people. People are lazy, and the more we move away from a print based market to a web based society (and yes, you will see that in your life time) we get more and more lazy. So if you send a multi-page resume guess where it will end up; the trash. Same goes for resumes that have too much information on said 1 page. You need to talk about a few key elements. Those elements include your education, (and all of this is most recent first) previous work experience (no more than three jobs) any projects that gained media attention, skills (and not a list, actually type out sentences describing how said skill was used) and all the contact information that you have so that there is no way the employer can not get a hold of you.
But some of the words in the list that I read today, that you should not include, made me laugh. They said that using the “five dollar” words is OK, but not to use wording such as “results-oriented professional”, “proven track record of success”, and “team player”. These words just make me laugh because I have actually taken resume courses teaching you how to write a solid resume. And you see these words all the time. These are not $5 words, these are $1 words.
But with this economy going down the tube (and it will get worse before it gets better) you can not afford to leave anything up for debate or discussion on your resume. You have three seconds to impress the person looking at your resume. And, again in this economy, you are going to be going into a huge stack of resumes. Nine times out of ten your resume will become lost in a stack of papers or in a trash can somewhere far away from your job, but you can not be discouraged. I went through it, you will if not are currently going through it, and there is little that you can do about it. But take a class, build a strong, professional resume that speaks louder than the words can read.
Maybe I should start a resume reading service. $5 I will review your resume and provide feedback. Anyone interested?