By Patricia Neds, CIR, Senior Recruiter, Gallagher MSA Search
If you want to be taken seriously when you apply for a job, you need to put some polish on your resume, cover letter, and everything contained therein. In addition to having your resume reviewed, make it easy on the hiring agent to see your LinkedIn profile. Hyperlink it on your resume, so all they have to do is click one button. Here are some additional aspects of creating a resume that will help in making sure it is professional and ready for the next phases of the hiring process.
Unprofessional email addresses are just one way of sending the wrong message. Email accounts are free. There is no reason not to sign up for your own. Many professionals share an email account with their significant other generating unprofessional addresses such as firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, stay away from cutesy addresses like email@example.com. You can always share your admiration of cute apes with colleagues after you’ve been hired. The same goes for offensive or flirtatious email addresses. Use an address that incorporates the name you use professionally on your resume and cover letter.
Failure to proofread
It is amazing how many people submit resumes that contain several typos. Even better than spell check, you should ask a friend to review your resume and cover letter. Make sure your dates are consistent and that you don't confuse your story with overlapping timelines.
If your resume is strong enough to convince the recruiter to reach for the telephone, be sure what they find at the other end of the line represents you in the best light—that means your voicemail or whoever might answer the phone.
The use of “etc.” on a resume is a sign of laziness. This says that the job seeker can't even take the time to list out all of their duties. Another no-no is saying “same as above” anywhere on a resume. If you had similar functions at a couple of your jobs, summarize the responsibilities and then bullet out some of your accomplishments. Other examples include spelling out the name of an employer or school (“BYU” instead of “Brigham Young University”) or not providing a city or state for an employer or school. Make sure you provide all the information to clarify the correct organization and/or school.
A resume is your first impression. What is your professional brand? Lead with it, and get their attention right away. An average resume review lasts 7 – 10 seconds – make it impactful! Your professionally written resume and cover letter is what will get you in the front door for an interview.