Every detail matters in the job interview process, and a bad resume can be a costly mistake. If you are applying but not receiving interviews, or you are interviewing and not receiving offers, it might be that your resume needs some attention.
When it comes to advancing to the next stage of your career, details matter. It may be time to do an honest evaluation of your resume, to determine if it’s an asset or a detriment to your career objectives. If it’s less than stellar, it’s better to find that out and address it now, than to keep sending it out and seeing the same lack of results.
How to Fix a Bad Resume
Leave a little mystery
If you’re the type who wants to be thorough and all inclusive, it may be time to re-evaluate. Your perspective employer likely doesn’t need to know about the paper route you had when you were 10. They likely don’t need to know about your 3-year stint in retail when you were a teenager.
If you’re a successful professional, keep your resume paired down to the relevant jobs and successful accomplishments. An employer is really looking to determine if you are the right person for a specific role. Trimming the excess fat from your job history can help you create a resume that markets your abilities and works in your favor.
Reverse chronological order
The idea behind this is to give your perspective employer the most relevant information up front. Your most recent job is likely much more relevant to your goals than the oldest job on your resume. It’s also a logical format that your next employer is likely expecting.
Keep it brief
One page or less is still ideal for a good resume. If you’re tempted to go over, one alternative may be to offer an online supplement, such as a personal website. You can also give the link to your LinkedIn profile as a way for your perspective employer to find out more.
The goal is to receive communication from your perspective employer, so make that as easy as possible for them to do. Place a contact phone number and email address in a prominent location.
When in doubt, go minimalist
The person reviewing your resume will likely not be spending much time with it. Give them the most pertinent information in a format that’s easy to read. Good use of white space can also make your resume easier on the eyes, something a hiring manager is sure to appreciate.
Performance and achievements
Your resume is the document that answers the employers’ question “Why should we choose you?” Don’t skimp out on the performance or achievements. Have you won awards for your work? Have you been the employee of the month? What kind of successful projects have you worked on? Have you been promoted in the past? These items can all be fodder for a successful resume. This is a chance to sell yourself.
Don’t Let a Bad Resume Hold You Back
The common definition of insanity is to repeatedly do the same thing, and expect different results. If you’re not hearing from perspective employers, it may be time to make some adjustments, rather than just sending out more.
If you’re stuck, you have resources at your disposal. It may be time to have an industry professional review your resume, to help you determine it’s strengths and weaknesses. It may take some tweaks to fix a bad resume. But with a few practical adjustments, you can find the results you are looking for.