Job Search and Resume Don'ts

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It can be daunting to understand what is going wrong in your job search or why your resume isn’t getting you that first phone call from the company. Here is a list of “don’ts” to make sure you aren’t losing out in your job search because of one or two simple mistakes.

LinkedIn

Make sure you have a comprehensive profile on LinkedIn with contact information accessible. No LinkedIn profile means you aren’t a professional.

Google

When your name is typed into Google what comes up? Wedding information, no problem. Stupid college pranks or odd Facebook posts, get rid of them.

Picture

No photos on your resume. In fact, no graphics of any kind unless you are applying for a creative position. Photos can be discriminatory and graphics are annoying for companies due to their disruption or complication in loading into applicant tracking systems. Use black or dark blue font. No colors!

Name

Use the name you want to be called. A resume is not a legal document. If your name is James but you go by Jim, put Jim on your resume.

Contact Information

Use one phone number and one email address. Don’t put your street address on your resume but your city and state is helpful. Use your LinkedIn hyperlink. Multiple social media URLs or icons is overkill. The one exception is a link to skill set documents or projects that reflect your expertise.

Resume Length

Stick to two pages or less even with 10+ years experience. Make three bullet points per job. Keep your sentences short. Do not include university achievements if you’ve been out of school for 3+ years. Don’t include your references. Don’t include an objective in your resume – that should be addressed in your cover note/email. Don’t give the reasons you left previous positions and don’t provide salary history on your resume. Companies just want to know what you know.

Grammar

No spelling mistakes. No jargon or abbreviations. No typos or poor grammar. Do not use first person. Do try to include words in your resume that keyword match the job description. Don’t force it, but if saying data science instead of data modeling makes a match, do it.

Lie

Don’t stretch the truth, say you are skilled at things you aren’t, or finagle the way you talk about your degree if you don’t really have one. All lies are grounds for dismissal from the interview process or even after you are hired.

Your Resume File

Use your name and year as the name of your resume file. You could use your job title if it is descriptive of your skill set. Don’t name the file RESUME. Save as a pdf or WORD document only. No other format is acceptable.

Last recommendation: Find an excellent recruiter who specializes in your niche to aid you in your job search. Smith Hanley Associates is a good place to start!


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