You spend the better part of your life at work. Our new feature, The Way to Work, offers tips and guidelines to help you succeed in the office. This week … get your foot in the door with a great résumé.
Writing a résumé isn't rocket science (unless you're applying for a job as an astrophysicist). There are some fairly simple rules you can follow that can help you present yourself in the best possible way, and avoid potential pitfalls.
CNN and CareerBuilder.com offer an article about the worst résumé mistakes, drawn from a survey of hiring managers. (Hint: Failing to italicize your job title is not included on this list.) Laugh and learn from some truly outrageous résumé gaffes. One manager provided this example: “Applicant explained an arrest by stating, ‘We stole a pig, but it was a really small pig.’”
If you don’t write “references available upon request,” then your potential employer might not realize you have references, right? Wrong. Forbes lays out the top nine ways to screw up your résumé, as per several major headhunters and human resources executives. Disabuse yourself of these nine misconceptions and you may just score that coveted interview.
CFO.com also warns you to avoid hiding essential information on your résumé. Even if it doesn’t really seem like a lie, anything that you have to explain later seems suspect to an employer. The site also advises you to go beyond simply listing your responsibilities at a previous job; rather, explain what you gained professionally at the position.
Okay, you’re now fully versed in what not to do. So, what items do belong on your résumé? We’ve got you covered with the findingDulcinea Web Guide to Finding a Job. It has plenty of information on the “fine art” of résumé writing, and it will even help you plan out your cover letter. The guide offers sources that can aid your entire job application process, including a link to a company that will check your references for you.