Whether you are looking for your first internship or a senior position, your resume is often the key to that super-critical first impression. Are you making mistakes that could tank your resume? Do you know the key questions to ask if you want to fix them?
Mistake 1: You underestimate how much a resume matters.
Resumes matter. More than ever. A good resume checks all of the boxes: name, address, job history. Boring. Now, more than ever, you need the kind of resume that makes you stand out – the kind that can increase your call-backs and set you up for a successful interview.
Key question to ask: How many ways can I improve my resume?
Mistake 2: Your resume is focused on you.
You need a job, right, or else you wouldn’t be working on your resume. You have a well-crafted objective and professional photo. You have great experience and amazing accomplishments… Why isn’t your resume getting you results?
Key question to ask: Who is my audience?
Mistake 3: You aren’t offering a solution to a problem.
While you’re waiting for people to respond to this you-focused resume you’re probably also wondering why no one has noticed what a special, talented, amazing human being you are. Well, sugar, I gotta tell you – it’s not their job to notice your specialness or your potential; it’s your job to show them how you can help them solve the problem.
Key question to ask: How can I provide a solution?
Mistake 4: You send the same resume to everyone.
If you are sending the same resume to Company A that you sent to Company B then you are doing it wrong. You heard me. Doing it wrong. This mistake is the culmination of mistakes 1-3. If you’ve read the position announcement and researched the company, considered your audience, and offered a solution to their needs then why would Company A and B get the same resume? Every resume you send is an opportunity to show not tell how you are a perfect fit.
Key question to ask: Why am I the absolutely best person for this job?
AND AS A BONUS...
Mistake 5: You think selling yourself is selling out.
Do you feel awkward talking about yourself or your accomplishments? Many of us do. If you feel slimy trying to sell yourself – if you feel like self-promotion means selling out – then you are going to have to get used to being uncomfortable because guess what? Your resume is a sales pitch that is part of a broader marketing campaign to sell yourself to your prospective employer. If that feels yucky then you’ve probably had at least one bad experience with sales, and I’m sorry for you but you are not alone in that.