Why Your Résumé Sucks!

Now that I have your attention, please keep reading.

There’s a strong possibility that I don’t like your résumé. “Not MY résumé!?!” Yes, especially YOUR résumé!

Just to clarify, before I continue, I have several years of résumé writing and critiquing experience, working with students, graduates and employers, teaching classes, delivering seminars and special events with résumé development as the focus.

Enough about my credentials. Let’s get to the matter at hand, improving your résumé. If any of the following statements resonate with your most important job search document, then its time to reassess.

You have excellent communication skills. So too does my shi-tzu, Julia. She can bark, stand on her hind legs when she wants something, shiver when she’s cold and is generally articulate when it comes to expressing herself. So are plants. So are you.Recruiters are not Clairvoyant - Mohawk Alumni Lidia Siino

Unfortunately, too many job seekers write this foggy statement without customizing it. Communication skills can involve reading, writing, listening and speaking vocabularies; they can be interpersonal or group based. They are transferable. Break these kinds of statements down.

Multi-tasking is not a skill, it’s a standard.In today’s world of work, being adept at multi-tasking is now an expectation. Doing more with less time rings true as companies down size to meet the demands of a highly competitive workforce. Avoid this term on your résumé. It is assumed.

You think recruiters are clairvoyant. If you are applying to a similar role, there could be a tendency to assume an employer knows exactly what your current and previous experience entails. Be careful when you assume things! Processes may differ based on company procedures, technology used and staffing responsibilities. Let an employer know exactly what you did and how it made an impact.

“I don’t need a résumé, I have a really good job!” Even if you are in the perfect job, keep in mind, the labour market could change in a heartbeat. Also, many people fail to see their résumé as a valuable career development tool. Tweaking your résumé regularly (suggested every season) can assist with performance evaluations, volunteer opportunities and even speaking engagements.

You aren’t open to criticism. Résumés represent our professional lives on screen and paper. An extension of ourselves. We spend a lot of time, adding, revising, and making sure our baby is perfect before we announce it to the world. Then we ask someone to review it, and the underlying message, with or without tact, is that our newborn baby is kind of ugly. Now that does suck.

Don’t think of résumé critique as criticism, think of it as résumé insight. A strong résumé gives employers a visual of you in action, essentially, a taste of how you would fare on the job.

Following these tips will ensure your résumé tastes a little more like a lollipop and a little less like an envelope.

LidiaSiino– Lidia Siino
Journalism and Communications Media ’02

Lidia Siino is the Professional Development & Communications Strategist for MCACES, the Mohawk College Association of Continuing Education Students. She is also the Program Manager and a Continuing Education Instructor for the Career Consultant Certificate Program at Mohawk College.http://www.linkedin.com/in/lidiasiino

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