Bohan and Bradstreet

Career Search

First Impressions

5/8/2019 by Bailey

The resume and cover letter are the first impressions for a new employment opportunity. The resume is an opportunity to showcase your skills and experience for the role and company that you are interested in. 
 
There are two types of readers: (1) the decision makers and they rarely will read cover letters; and (2) the non-decision makers and they might read every word submitted. Resumes should be composed for decision makers. 90+% of resumes are boring and fail to communicate the appropriate information for the targeted audience.
 
Here are the most common mistakes on resumes:
  1. Wrote the resume for yourself and not the reader…..most people ended up writing a career autobiography rather than a marketing presentation of your abilities for that specific opportunity. Resumes should be tailored.
  2. Business Parallels…..every job is a reflection of the business model and culture. Most forget to describe the business model (e.g. product/services, markets channels served). Any parallels in the business model of recent employers to the business that you are applying for is a big advantage.
  3. Lack of Contributions & Accomplishments….too many resumes are bland, more duties and responsibilities focused….if you have supported revenue growth, improved business processes, partnered on cost savings, and/or teamed on change management, then you need to have that in your resume and describe the action steps and not just the result.
  4. Personality….most resumes have no personality, yet soft skills are always valued at 50% or greater on any interview. Having a “Professional Summary” at the top of the resume is an opportunity to use adjectives that describe your personality as well emphasize those skills and business model parallels for the opportunity that you are applying for.
  5. Resume Content…..the last seven years is the most valued and appropriate experience. Resumes should start off with a Professional Summary and then most recent or current employer. Promotion are important. 75-80% of the content on the resume should be contained in the last 7 years and explained well. Resumes should not exceed two pages…you are marketing skills and appropriate experience….you are not writing an essay or a book.