Our guest blogger (and one of our featured mentors) for this post is Kris McGuigan. Dedicated to performing at the top of her craft, Kris is one of only 120 Academy Certified Resume Writers in the world. She holds coaching credentials from the renowned Career Coach Academy and has trained alongside some of the industry’s top experts. With 8+ years of experience, Kris creates and delivers career marketing tools that get results, including resumes, cover letters, and LinkedIn profiles. You can learn more about her company, called Professional Courage, on her website.
Working with clients of all shapes and sizes, I see a lot of poor and ineffective resume rhetoric. While some career marketing pitfalls are universal, the items below are especially common among Millennials:
1. Including an Objective statement
Beginning with an objective statement is like going on a blind date and spending the first five minutes talking about what you want in an ideal partner. It’s self-focused and a bit assuming. Instead of framing your resume around your goals, consider writing from the employer’s state of mind. Call out strengths and accomplishments that translate to the target company’s bottom line.
2. Leading with Education
Unless you received your degree within the last 12 months and have zero professional experience to speak of, the Education section belongs after your work history. Academia offers a valuable training ground for a wealth of critical business knowledge, but employers want to see that you can apply these skills in a professional setting.
3. Using a Template
As a professional resume writer, even the mention of a template makes me cringe. Imagine standing in a long line of candidates awaiting an interview, and everyone is wearing the exact same outfit. While visual appeal takes second stage to resume content, looking just like the guy who walked in before you is not a solid strategy for standing out among the competition. Your resume is a written representation of your personal brand – your unique gift to professional world. Don’t wrap it in brown paper bag.
4. Omitting Volunteer Experience
Community involvement can be a great way to showcase a breadth of practical experience, demonstrating skills and talents your paid work history may not touch upon. Moreover, active participation in community and civic organizations conveys an understanding that the universe is bigger than you are and requires the contributions of many to function at its best.
5. Failing to Connect the Dots
A slew of random jobs and miscellaneous coursework can leave the reader confused as to your past –and future—ability to focus. The responsibility rests on the jobseeker to bring the various points of your professional history (education, part-time employment, volunteerism, etc.) together under one umbrella and tell the story as to how each of these elements, when combined, position you for success.
Check out our other tips for making your resume stand out>