The global pandemic has forced millions of people into an unexpected job search. Whether you’re amongst the millions of professionals recently laid-off or you’ve been looking for a new job for months now, you’ve likely questioned how to tackle your job search during these uncertain times.
But, before you dust off your resume and start hitting “easily apply” on Indeed, you need to be sure to avoid these 3 resume mistakes if you want to increase your chances of standing out and impressing hiring managers.
Too Much Jargon
I see this mistake time and time again. This is especially important to avoid if you’re aiming to pivot into a new industry right now because the pandemic has negatively impacted your current industry. Jargon is considered any words, abbreviations or expressions that would be difficult for a particular profession, company or industry to understand. Essentially, it’s any language you would use in your current company or industry that would not resonate with the next company or industry you’re looking to join. If it sounds like gibberish to them, it’s distracting from your value.
You know you have the experience for the roles you’re seeking next. But, if you’re explaining your experience by using words that the next industry doesn’t normally use, then you’re leaving the recruiter to guess about your experience, which usually leads them to assume you lack the necessary experience. You have to break up with the type of language you used to use at your company or in your current industry and explain your experience the way the next company talks about those same things.
The Wrong Results
We’ve all been told to make sure your resume is results-oriented. Most people take that advice and run with it. But, they forget to include the right results in their resume. Results aren’t just saying things that sound nice or including every single thing you’ve done in your career on your resume. No matter how many results you include in your resume, if they aren’t focused on communicating that you can do what the next role needs you to do, your results do no matter.
Would your resume pass the 3-Word Skim Test? The 3-Word Skim Test is a method I teach my clients to ensure that if anyone was to read any bullet on their resume they’d immediately see that they have the right skills for the job or would be compelled to read further because of the first three words in the bullet. Recruiters and hiring managers only spend an average of 7.4 seconds reading a resume. The last thing you want is to have a results-oriented resume with the wrong results.
Most job candidates spend way too much time worrying about the format of their resume. Should it be one-page or two-pages? Should I use this font or another font? Should I include the month and year or just the year? While some of those things are important, your format is not the most important part of your resume. A beautiful but boring and irrelevant resume will not get you very far in the hiring process.
But, on that same note, when formatting your resume, your goal should be to keep things simple, clear and concise. Remember, anything that distracts from your value and experience increases the chances of your resume getting thrown in the rejection pile. You should aim to format your resume in a way that makes it easy to skim and clear to see your value. Depending on your industry, it may be beneficial to go the extra mile aesthetically. But, it should always be secondary to demonstrating the skills and results you can bring to the table now.
We’ve been hit with lots of uncertainty due to coronavirus. But, although things look bleak and the stats are alarming, companies are still hiring. My clients are still landing interviews for roles they would consider their dream jobs at companies they love, and it’s still possible for you to do the same. But, it starts with making sure you’re communicating your value at every step of the hiring process, starting with your resume.
Adunola Adeshola coaches high-achievers on how to take their careers to the next level and secure the positions they've been chasing.