Career Tips

Resume Mistakes You are Making

Date Posted: 07/23/2015

Your resume is your first handshake with a potential overseas employer. So you have to make sure to impress. To do that, you must present a well-made profile that will correctly reflect “YOU” by relating your experience to the jobs requirements. To do this, you must mention the nature of your past work, extent of responsibilities, the technical skills you applied in the job, your independent judgment and your progress to higher or more responsible assignments.

Recruiters abroad spend less than 2 minutes scanning a resume, so if you want to get an interview, you cannot afford to fall short because of mistakes in your resume like those mentioned below:

Match your objectives to what the employer wants from you.  Focus on the Employer’s requirements and tell them specifically what you can do for them not what you want for yourself.

Excessively Length
Do not make your resume too long and exhaustive. Many job seekers have a tendency to include too much information in their resume, some of which is confusing, irrelevant or unnecessary. Remember that the recruiter has a huge pile of resume to browse over – yes only skim over – and that is exactly what he does. He must speed read in a matter of seconds and has no time to go over a lot of details in the first selection. Therefore, your resume must be compressed into your relevant professional skills and work experience in a maximum of two pages. If you need to say a lot more, you can put it in an annexure for later presentation after you pass the first selection.

Typographic, Language Errors
A survey found that a majority of resumes contained some typographical errors which are inexcusable. This happens because your brain is programmed to shut out errors after too many repeated readings. It gets too tired as you’ve been staring at the same resume for too long. So give it a break or let someone else read it because other people will more easily spot errors reading it the first time.

Complicated Formatting
Don’t let your career details be overshadowed by excessive fancy formatting. Use formatting in a simple style to express specific facts but not in a poster-like presentation that may be visually interesting but needs effort to read. Use small bullet points to direct the readers’ attention. Highlight headings/sub-headings of your resume. Don’t use more than one or two fonts as this will bother the recruiter instead of impressing him. Get some other people to vet your resume before you finalize it.

Avoid misrepresentations and exaggerations to cover your shortcomings. If you have a diploma, don’t try to pass it off as a graduate degree. Don’t overstate the amount of time you have spent in a job. If you worked in a 6-man department, don’t say it was nearly 10. Depend on honesty, not lies since you will invariably get exposed later. Be intelligently creative but not dishonest, even if you don’t fit the exact job requirements.

Always be specific and avoid generalizations to describe your role and experience. Recruiters want to know what your actual role was and what you achieved. Don’t state that you worked in a hotel when you worked in a restaurant. Don’t say you worked at a hospital if you worked in a private clinic. You must be specific and elaborate your role in that profession. You can’t claim that you were really the supervisor when you were merely the senior most in your group.

Common Resume
You cannot use just one resume template for every job you apply for. Tailor your resume separately for every job application. Recruiters expect your resume to be made specifically for the very job you are applying for to justify how you fit the vacancy. Fine tune your profile to suit different job requirements.

Showcase Accomplishments
List your achievements against your duties and not the other way around. Highlight your successes because recruiters will not focus on what you were supposed to do but on how well you executed your job.

Action Verbs
Use action verbs – ‘executed’, ‘resolved’ instead of passive statements like ‘to execute’ or ‘to resolve’ so that it shows positive commitment in your past performances.

Personal Data
Double check to make sure that every personal information like date of birth, contact details, current address, are absolutely accurate. Going wrong here will mislead the employer and cost you dear.

Irrelevant Work Experience
Avoid listing non-relevant information and state only your related experience for the position you are applying for. If you don’t have the relevant experience as the employer has specified, you won’t qualify and therefore you should not apply at all. Applying for jobs that you are not qualified for will have a negative impact on your future employability.

You must realize that it is only through a good resume that you can reach a selected employer. Develop an impressive profile keeping all the above aspects in mind! If you have doubts and don’t want to take a chance, approach a professional to make a proper resume for you. Remember that the stakes are very high and the expense of professional assistance for resume building is insignificant compared to your gains in getting a job abroad.

©2015 Ikon Solutions Asia, Inc.

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