4 Common Entry-Level Resume Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

grad1I was recently interviewed by Heather Huhman for her Entry Level Careers Examiner column. Read my advice for how to avoid the top 4 mistakes entry level candidates make when writing their resumes here.

Resume Words That Get a Big Yawn

yawn1Over the past two weeks I attended several job fairs and critiqued hundreds of resumes. There must be a repository of really bad advice on how to write a resume out there because I tend to see the same mistakes over and over again. One of the most common mistakes I see is the use of personal attributes to describe a candidate. While personal attributes are factored in to the hiring decision, what needs to be communicated on the resume is your value proposition and proof of past successes that demonstrate that these attributes are core to your brand and personal pitch. The words themselves are meaningless unless they are backed up with facts. At these career fairs, I was reminded of a recent post by Billie Sucher over on Career Hub that discusses why personal attributes don’t prove competency. Here are a few word choices that I frequently see on resumes that unfortunately tell me nothing about you.
Dynamic- If you were so dynamic, you wouldn’t be using the word dynamic to describe yourself. Instead you would be showcasing an accomplishment that proves this quality. For example, maybe you have been able to woo difficult to land clients or you deliver engaging presentations to standing room only crowds.
Trustworthy-What does this mean exactly? That you won’t share proprietary information or you won’t steal post-its from the company’s supply closet? If you chose to put that word on your resume, there must have been a reason you selected it. Think about the success stories that prove why being trustworthy is important for the work you do and write about that instead.
Team Player-This one really makes me cringe. It’s so stale it leads me to believe that you haven’t thought about your resume since 1987. Tell me how you collaborate with others, mentor staff, recommend initiatives that make teams more cohesive…anything, but please don’t just tell me you are a team player.

Strong Communication Skills-Right. You are such a great communicator that the words alone make it true. Where’s the communications piece in this equation? Please communicate to me what you have done that proves this skill. That’s what a strong communicator does.

Free Resume Critiques at the Monster Job Fair in NYC

Happy About My Resume will be at the Monster Career Fair in NYC on 2/18 11am to 3pm offering free resume critiques. Come visit us at the Radisson Martinique Hotel, 49 West 32nd Street.jobs

Resumes That Pass the Hiring Manager’s 30 Second Test

You’ve heard it before…Most hiring managers spend less than 30 seconds looking at a candidate’s resume. How can you ensure that your resume passes the hiring authority’s initial screening and gets put in the “yes” pile? Find out on February 4, 2009 during my free teleseminar, Resumes That Pass the Hiring Manager’s 30 Second Test hosted by Liz Lynch, author of Smart Networking.┬áDuring this one hour presentation attendees will learn:

  • Methods for incorporating on-message keywords into the resume.
  • Exciting and compelling strategies for highlighting your core brand.
  • How to write accomplishment-driven, powerful content that gets noticed by hiring managers.
  • Tips for leveraging the resume content to carve out your professional brand and networking strategy.

Attendees will also be eligible to receive additional free job search resources that will be announced following the teleseminar. Can’t make it? Sign up and receive the free mp3 recording. Interested? You can register here.a

Scary Resumes

These are real resumes, written by real people…real scary!

Resume Hell

Not Hired