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Recruiters read each resume for an average of 10 seconds.
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Show your resume to a career coach, and they'll likely highlight some big fails. Some are obvious (a six-page resume can be a snooze to read) while others are a bit more surprising (those catchy buzzwords everyone uses might not be a great idea after all). We asked three career coaches and resume writing experts for the top mistakes they see over and over, and how you can break these bad habits to make your resume stand out from the rest -- in a good way.
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When you're looking for a job, the more skills you have, the better, right? If you pack your resume with everything you've learned and all the things you can do, you'll appeal to that many more employers and turn up in more all-important keyword searches. That's the theory that many job seekers have, but it's wrong.
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Every time you send out a resume, it competes with 250+ other resumes. If you use a confusing or underwhelming format, you run the risk that your resume ends up in the trash. What if we told you that existing resume formats could easily do the job for you?
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"Oh gimme a break, not another 'results-oriented, hard-working, team player.'" Self-descriptions like these turn up in so many resumes that they don't serve to differentiate candidates anymore. In fact, they have the opposite effect by making the job seeker appear generic and cookie-cutter. Stop trying to describe yourself.
While the content is ostensibly what you have done in the past, the real subject of your resume should actually be what you can do in the future. Your past accomplishments as evidence of your future potential. There's really only one skill that matters at the end of the day. It is your ability to achieve results -- they care about what you can do with what you know.
As a headhunter, I call people who are sitting at their desk already working, and as a recruiter, I get resumes and emails from people seeking employment. The difference between the two is extraordinary. If you are looking for work and wondering why no one is calling or emailing you back, here are the real reasons you aren't getting a job.
Remember that episode of Seinfeld? Well, we're with Mr. Lippman. Chill out on the exclamation points -- they are rarely necessary in a resume/cover letter. When in doubt, leave them out.