How To Keep Your Resume Out Of The Scrap Pile

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You may have read that the resume is dead, or that "Google is the new resume." Despite the death knell, in fact, the resume is very much alive, no matter what form it takes. Perhaps a more accurate moniker to use for the information job seekers use to apply for positions is "job search marketing materials," which encompasses the traditional resume and all of the online content associated with the job seeker.

The reality is, if you don't start with a strong, accomplishment-oriented resume, you will not be able to create effective marketing materials, including a strong LinkedIn profile or social resume (professional website).

Don't make these misguided assumptions when you create your resume if you want to land the job.

Your resume is all about you.

A common mistake: it has your name on top, it must be all about you, right? Wrong. Most job seekers don't realize one important fact: the resume's goal is to make connection to the targeted employer. When you compose a resume, identify what the employer needs and make a clear case why you are a good fit.

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Your resume must have an objective.

​An old-fashioned resume technique, an objective focuses on what you want; the resume needs to hone in on how you are a good fit for the job. Use headlines that include the targeted job title or other important keywords instead of an objective.

The resume must detail everything you've ever done.

No one is interested in your autobiography. Employers mainly need to know about your most recent experience as it relates to what they want you to do for them. If you were a banker 20 years ago, but are now applying for marketing positions more in line with your recent experience, there's no need to focus on ancient history.

Employers will understand what you mean.

This unconscious assumption that you can allude to a skill or accomplishment on your resume and the employer will make the connection that you're great for the job is one of the biggest job seeker mistakes. Do not assume someone will stop to analyze what you mean when you use vague language or indicate that you "assisted with" a project, for example. If you are not clear about what you offer and how it relates to the job, the only thing you should assume is that you won't get the interview.

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A little white lie on your resume is no big deal.

You only need to read the stories of accomplished professionals who lost jobs and opportunities when they stretched the truth on their application materials to know this is a big mistake. Present the best possible impression consistent with the truth.

Jargon should always be eliminated.

You may have seen articles disparaging use of jargon or "buzz words" in resumes and LinkedIn profiles. Be careful if you purge your materials of the language employers are expecting in your resume. The best approach is to mirror the job description. If it is full of jargon, be sure you include at least some of those keywords in your materials. However, be sure you don't just stuff your document with empty language. Make it clear how those industry buzz words relate to your experience and accomplishments. Be specific and employers won't view your resume as being full of empty language.

Mention "references available on request."

This is one of the best ways to date your resume. This is assumed and does not need to appear on your materials. Modern resumes do not include this statement.

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