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Top 5 Resume Mistakes to Avoid

There are several common mistakes that can send your resume straight to the rejection pile. It’s not exactly fair, but with some careful attention and the following examples of 5 things to avoid when writing your resume, you can increase your odds of being contacted for an interview.

1. Your resume is more than one page.

Regardless of whether you are just entering the workforce, or have been working for 15 years, your resume should never exceed 1 page. Be selective with the skills and experiences that best apply to the position at hand to keep your resume targeted to the job posting and easy-to-read.

With hundreds of resumes crossing their desks, recruiters must evaluate them quickly, spending an average of six seconds scanning a resume. Knowing that you have very little time to grab a recruiter’s attention, restricting yourself to a one page document forces you to present only the most relevant information.

Can I adjust the margins on my resume?

Sneaky tricks to beat the page count didn’t work in school and they definitely won’t work with a hiring manager. Not only will they see through the attempt to get more information onto the page, but exceptionally small page margins will also make your resume more difficult to read, and ultimately more likely to end up in the trash.

Resume format guidelines to improve your chances:

  • Keep margins at least 1 inch on all sides.
  • Keep font size at a minimum of 11 points.
  • Be consistent with punctuation and how you write the dates of each job.
  • Be concise: list your achievements and responsibilities in bullet-point format.
  • Be specific: use quantifiable examples of the success you achieved in each role.

2. You didn’t proofread your resume and cover letter.

Is “careless” the first impression you’re looking to make on your potential new employer? Even though mistakes happen all the time in the real world, a typo on your resume is a clear sign that you either didn’t bother to proofread, or that you did, but failed to catch a mistake. That kind of mistake isn’t encouraging for future employers who want to ensure they’re hiring someone whose work they can trust.

To avoid grammatical and spelling errors, make sure to recruit several people to proofread your resume. Friends or family will do, provided they are attentive and have a firm grasp of the English language.

And be sure to double check consistency in your use of past and present tense. Remember: present tense should only be used when describing the responsibilities of your current job.

3. You included subjective traits.

Have you used any of the following descriptions?

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Team player
  • Hard worker
  • Results-driven
  • Detail-oriented

If so, prove it! Not only are these expressions overused, they’re completely subjective. Even if you really are a hard worker who is results-driven, unless you can provide quantifiable proof, the statement doesn’t belong on your resume. Stick to listing accomplishments with concrete evidence that proves these skills.

As so many people hold inaccurate perceptions of their quality of work, employers in general will disregard subjective claims on a resume. Looking to impress? Hit them with facts — hard numbers and supporting evidence prove why you’d be a great addition to their team.

Ask yourself: “what have I achieved that demonstrates the skills this hiring manager is looking for?” For example, a promotion may demonstrate your work ethic, while managing a large number of colleagues will prove your leadership skills.

4. You didn’t tailor your resume for each specific job you applied to.

Tailoring a resume may seem like a daunting task when applying to multiple jobs, but the added work is sure to pay off in the end. A generic resume lends the impression that you have blindly applied for a position that you may or may not be qualified for, thus limiting your odds of being contacted for an interview.

To start tailoring your resume:

Read and understand the job description: what responsibilities stand out about the position? Are any requirements repeated? Which duties relate to your experience at your current or past position?

Organize your resume based on relevancy to the position: regardless of whether it’s your education, a past job or a recent certification, make sure your most relevant experience is listed first. There’s no rule that says your resume must be in chronological order so it’s completely acceptable to organize your resume in a way that highlights your relevant experience for the hiring manager.

Align your past experience: how can your existing experience be revamped to better align with the requirements of the job? For examples of ways to alter your bullets to emphasize certain soft skills, check out this article by Muse.

5. You lied, exaggerated or misrepresented your work or accomplishments.

Lying or “padding” your resume is a common technique amongst job hunters to make them seem more qualified for a job than they truly are. Though it may seem easy to get away with, if your lie isn’t unveiled through social media or the interview process, chances are your references will call out your bluff.

Bottom line? Don’t pad your resume!

There’s a point of no return between “spinning” your skills and experience a certain way and falsifying your achievements. Not only do you risk being blacklisted from the company if you are caught lying, but you will also ruin your relationship with your references.

Your resume is the first and often only impression an employer will have of you. It can instantly make or break your chances of being contacted for an interview or disregarded for the position entirely. If you are looking to increase your odds in the hiring process, avoid making any of these common errors on your resume. You may be unable to control a hiring manager’s decision, but you can control your resume and how it portrays you as the best candidate for the role!

Lēad Blog is part of Adecco and Roevin Canada. Find and apply to your dream job, or get more career advice from our experts.

 

Small Businesses and the Growing Competition for Talent

Small and medium-sized business owners face many hurdles when competing against large corporations. Don’t lose that dream candidate to a major competitor! Let our tips help you transform your company’s team for future success.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) often face considerable competition, and recruiting quality candidates is no exception. On-boarding and training new hires can be a costly endeavour and candidate attraction can be difficult with limited brand recognition. In celebration of this year’s Small Business Week, we’re highlighting some of the challenges that SMEs face when recruiting and offering our tips for finding success. Read more

The State of Canada’s Skills Gap

As the baby boomer generation reaches retirement and the technology sector continues to grow, the labour market is undergoing a dramatic transformation. The skills gap in the labour market created by these changes has made it clear that to remain globally competitive, we need to address the growing skills gap.

Although the unemployment rate has recently dropped to its lowest point in 40 years, candidates still lack the skills to meet changing labour demands, especially as automation revolutionizes the labour market by replacing much of the repetitive, manual work currently performed by humans, and as technology creates new jobs in completely new sectors. These joint developments point to an increasingly mismatched labour market, where the workers displaced by automation are unable to move into new jobs created by technological advancements because they don’t have the new skills required.

With one estimate of Ontario’s lost potential GDP at $24 billion (which is worth about 4% of that province’s total GDP), it’s clear that the costs of leaving the skills gap unaddressed are significant. So how do we work towards shrinking it?

Increased collaboration

One way is to start with the workers of tomorrow. In their 2016 report Strengthening Ontario’s Workforce for the Jobs of Tomorrow, the Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) points to the need for more comprehensive data collection and reporting on labour market trends to enable students to make better-informed decisions about their fields of study based on current and future in-demand occupations.

While many of HRPA’s recommendations require government action, the report highlights the role of collaboration between industry and educational institutions to help bridge the skills gap of the future. Through outreach programs and workforce development initiatives such as internships, co-op placements and apprenticeship programs, organizations can help guide students and young workers into occupations that are in-demand.

Retraining the workforce

When it comes to today’s workforce, it’s important to recognize the role that lifelong learning plays in maintaining competitiveness. As technological innovation changes the skills demanded — and as the emergence of freelancers and the gig economy puts pressure on traditional employment models — businesses will have to respond quickly to keep their workforces competitive.

One way is to consider free online courses or microlearning applications to make the most of your employees’ time and your budget. You might even consider partnering with a local educational institution to offer accredited training programs to train your most motivated employees with the specific skills your business needs. With so many training opportunities available for different needs at various price points, it’s both cost-effective and incredibly easy to introduce these options to your employees.

Culture shift

Underlying the above suggestions is the necessity of reorienting employee development as a competitive advantage. As shifts in technology rapidly change the skills employers require, continual skills upgrading becomes a necessity. As a result, a business that is seen to prioritize education can attract top talent who are intrinsically motivated to stay ahead of the curve.

Looking for some assistance filling those challenging positions? Let our recruitment consultants help! With access to some of the best talent in the country, combined with thousands of free training resources, let us provide you with the best candidate to complete your workforce!

Lēad Blog is part of Adecco and Roevin Canada. Hire your perfect team, or get more staffing advice from our experts.

 

Career Development Through Temp Work

Have you ever wondered if temporary work is right for you? As one of Canada’s top employment agencies, we’re a little biased. We think temp work provides individuals with the opportunities they need to build the career they want. Wherever you are in your career, temporary assignments offer the flexibility and learning opportunities you’ve been looking for! Join us as we take a look at how temporary work through employment agencies can help you develop your career.

Experience the best that Canadian businesses have to offer

Working for different employers across varied industries is a great way to gain firsthand experience of diverse roles and responsibilities. Many workers use contract assignments to test different positions and responsibilities to find the best fit for them. At the same time, temporary assignments give employers an opportunity to evaluate the best candidates before hiring the most suitable for longer-term contracts. This type of work is especially helpful to get your foot in the door at companies that aren’t currently hiring on a permanent basis; you’ll know their operations and have already proven your skills if the company decides to hire permanent employees in the future.

Best of all, it doesn’t matter where you are in your career. Contract work helps first-time jobseekers and transitioning workers alike find meaningful employment on their terms. Whether you’re entering or re-entering the workforce, looking to fill employment gaps or paring down your work hours, temporary employment provides amazing opportunities for work when you need it.

You don’t have to do it alone

With an employment agency, you can take a lot of the guesswork out of temporary work. At Adecco, our Recruitment Consultants offer expert guidance to temporary associates on resumes and cover letters, interviewing skills, personal branding and presentation skills. Then, we focus on your success by working with our clients to provide safe and fulfilling work for our temporary associates and we communicate with you throughout the process. With employment agencies that offer you this kind of support, you know your career is in good hands.

Permanent options… if you want it!

Whether your goal is to continue pursuing contract assignments or gain permanent employment, temporary work offers the variety and exposure you need to shape the career you want.

If it’s permanent employment you’re seeking, the best part about gaining exposure to different companies through contract assignments is finding the right one for you! Radial is a perfect example of the kind of dynamic organization that’s focused on success for their employees and temporary workers alike. A global e-commerce company specializing in distributed order management, enterprise inventory and availability, store fulfillment, and customer care, Radial offers individuals the work they want to do in an environment they won’t want to leave.

Here’s what three individuals had to say about how Radial and Adecco helped transform their careers:

Samantha Scott, Operations Supervisor

I began working with Radial through Adecco in October of 2010 as an inbound associate. In 2012 I was hired directly to Radial from Adecco. After 2012 I was promoted to team lead and then again in 2014 to Operations Supervisor. Radial has shown and continues to show me their commitment to growing and developing people who work hard. I have had the opportunity to benefit from this and continue to see what a great future Radial can provide to me and anyone who sets their mind to it.

Justin Smithers, Operations Supervisor

I began working with Radial through Adecco in August of 2014. I was immediately impressed by Radial, the culture was fantastic and I was placed into an environment where I was able to thrive and develop. Through support from both Radial and Adecco, I was hired on as a full-time associate in March of 2015. From there, the building leaders continued to provide opportunity and capitalize on my skill set, while developing me for future success. In August of 2016, I was promoted to Team Lead and given my first opportunity to manage associates. I progressed further and in August of 2017, I reached my goal in becoming Operations Supervisor.

Mejo Varghese, Site Operations Manager

My career at Radial began several years ago in 2012 where I was given the opportunity to begin working as an IT Technician through Adecco. As a new immigrant, it was not easy to find a job in your related field. I was grateful to Adecco for helping me find my career and giving me an excellent opportunity.

Working at Radial, I quickly realized the potential for growth within this company. I soon was promoted to Site Operations Supervisor, and after one year, I was able to advance in my career and become the Site Operations Manager. Radial not only values its employees but also helps each one of us to grow to our full potential!

Interested in working with Radial? View Adecco jobs with Radial and apply today.

Learn a new skill or two or ten

While you’re on assignment, take advantage of the opportunity to learn new skills. Be open to learning new things and look for chances to practice and develop your skills in current and future assignments.

Another way to develop your skills is to take advantage of online learning opportunities. Massive open online courses (MOOCs) like Alison or Coursera give learners free online learning opportunities to gain knowledge and skills anywhere, at any time. And when you’re a temporary associate with Adecco, you gain access to hundreds of online training modules in everything from technical software courses to customer service skills, health and safety legislation to business writing. These courses help candidates on or between assignments strengthen their skill sets and resumes, enriching on-the-job learning for greater success.

Get the benefit of benefits

Many employment agencies, including Adecco, offer employees skills training, experience, mentorship, and benefits. From the employment agency’s perspective, offering these perks helps retain top talent. And for temporary associates, benefits make a temp career more predictable, with group health, dental and life insurance, vacation pay, time off, statutory holiday pay, career counselling and skills training.

With skills training and career development at some of the best companies in Canada, not to mention awesome benefits, why not start working temp today?

Lēad Blog is part of Adecco and Roevin Canada. Find and apply to your dream job, or get more career advice from our experts.

 

Re-focus on Customer Service

It may be strategic marketing and advertising that draws customers to your business, but it’s the level of customer service that keeps them coming back and referring friends and family. Don’t let your business’s lackluster customer service affect your profits. In honour of National Customer Service Week from October 1 to 5, we’re sharing our tips to raise awareness of the importance of customer service within your company.

Customer service is an under-valued yet essential function for your organization’s success. Not only does it help you grow customer relationships, a good customer service strategy also gathers important feedback from customers about your services and products, while building customer confidence in your brand. It’s a win-win-win situation!

However, not all organizations have the capital to invest in a call centre or customer service department. So how can you increase your company’s customer service focus without a full-scale reorganization? Check out Adecco’s 4 tips and watch your customer relationships grow!

Hire service-oriented employees across all departments

“It costs 6-7 times more to acquire a new customer than retain an existing one.”

Whether it was past experience in a call centre or even a previous retail job, hiring staff with prior customer service experience can yield great benefits for your organization’s customer relationships. Not only will these employees bring an array of customer service skills to their new position, they will likely already have a customer-first focus that won’t go unnoticed by your clients or customers. These employees will act as an example for colleagues lacking customer service experience and skills, and they can help build a stronger customer service focus within your organization.

Schedule mandatory customer service training for all staff

“A customer is 4 times more likely to defect to a competitor if the problem is service-related than price- or product-related.”

Customer service is more than just handling customer complaints. It requires product knowledge, clear communication skills, positive language, empathy and so much more! Given how multi-dimensional good customer service is, helping your employees develop these skills can dramatically improve your organization’s customer focus. Make it a priority within your organization by scheduling mandatory training sessions with all colleagues annually. In these sessions, emphasize company policies on product or service warranties and role-play a variety of potential situations to help develop your employees’ customer service skills. By preparing colleagues for those tricky interactions, they will feel more comfortable and confident in handling any customer issues that come their way.

Provide a desktop cheat sheet

70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated.”

Customer service skills take time and practice to develop and they don’t necessarily come naturally to your employees, especially those who work in departments that wouldn’t normally interact with customers or clients. Provide staff with a cheat sheet of the best words and phrases to use in challenging customer service situations. By providing your employees with this tool, you help them take control of the customer interaction, while working towards a positive outcome.

Incentives and rewards

55% of customers would pay extra to guarantee a better service.”

Recognize colleagues who have maintained a strong customer service priority within their daily work. This will reinforce your organization’s commitment to a high level of customer service and influence colleagues to focus on their customer service skills. However you choose to acknowledge your high-achievers — think an extra vacation day, gift card, or employee of the month certificate — providing employees with an incentive can be the push they need to make customer service a priority within their daily work load.

Lēad Blog is part of Adecco and Roevin Canada. Hire your perfect team, or get more staffing advice from our experts.

The Pursuit of (Workplace) Happiness

It’s no surprise that employees appreciate a “happy” workplace, but the benefits to employers are sometimes overlooked. In this article, we take a look at the positives of creating and maintaining a happy workforce. 

We all know that employees want to work in a place that makes them happy – who wouldn’t? But what might get overlooked is that employee satisfaction can also have a significant impact on organizational performance. From productivity to brand promotion, a happy employee makes your organization better  by just being happy.

But what affects an employee’s happiness? It might be surprising to note that salary isn’t the only factor. In fact, a Glassdoor study found that, at all income levels, compensation was the least significant workplace priority for workers — lower than culture and values, senior leadership, career opportunities, business outlook and work-life balance.

It’s clear that employers have a significant effect on employee satisfaction, and it’s often through factors other than compensation. While it may be daunting, it’s also increasingly obvious that employers must consider employee engagement as an official part of their corporate mission.

At Adecco, we’ve taken this to heart. We know that employee satisfaction is a fundamental part of our success, so annually, we measure it through the Great Place to Work® survey. And for the second year in a row, we are proud to be recognized as a Great Place to Work. Given our experience, we believe employers will benefit in the following ways when they focus on creating and maintaining a happy workforce.

Better employee retention

With frequent turnover, an organization can face considerable hiring and on-boarding costs. From job postings to interviews, on-boarding to training, the costs of replacing an existing employee can add up! These expenditures combined with a competitive candidate market can make turnover challenging for any organization. Happy employees are more likely to stay and grow within the company — increasing their value and reducing your costs. Encourage open dialogue with your employees so to continually assess employee engagement and make adjustments as needed.

Improved productivity

Cultivating a work environment to promote employee satisfaction can have a dramatic improvement on your staff’s productivity. A study conducted at the University of Warwick found that happiness led to a 12% improvement in productivity. And with employee engagement falling in Canada, it’s clear that there are productivity gains to be made by championing employee satisfaction in the workplace. With happier employees more likely to come into work everyday and fully engage with their tasks, employers can expect increased productivity and less lost time from sick days. Plus, with increased levels of energy and creativity, happy employees are also more likely to go above and beyond during peak business periods, resulting in overall greater company performance. At Adecco, we firmly believe that one of the ways to improve employee satisfaction is by cultivating a culture of transparency. Whether it’s through our quarterly company-wide call, weekly president’s message, or in-person visits from the leadership team across our branches, we’re dedicated to connecting people to important company information so they feel included in our organization and well-prepared to perform their jobs.

In-house brand ambassadors

Happier employees increase the success of your brand for one reason: they become brand ambassadors! The goal is to have employees who are invested in the success of your organization thereby helping to increase sales and maintain better client relationships. You can encourage loyalty by highlighting each employee’s contribution to business success. At Adecco, we’ve seen a positive effect on engagement through setting aside time in every one-on-one review to identify the business impacts of tasks. By doing so, our Operations team can map their contribution to company success, which fosters each employee’s motivation while also providing a way to prioritize tasks according to value.

Improved collaboration

Improving collaboration within the organization is often on the strategic to-do list. What can be overlooked, however, is the effect of a stressful work environment on this goal. It can be easy to let the stress of peak business periods go unchecked and permeate the workplace, but this can weaken the relationship between management and staff, and foster departmental silos. Prioritizing a work environment that engages colleagues and keeps them motivated to come into work every day encourages collaboration amongst employees and inspires creativity and problem-solving. At Adecco, we take full advantage of opportunities to encourage camaraderie amongst our employees. Whether it’s through our open work spaces that allow for continuous sharing and collaboration, or the social committees who organize events that allow colleagues to get to know each other and have a little fun at work — we are dedicated to promoting collaboration throughout the organization.

A happy workplace is equally beneficial to the employee and employer. By creating a happy work environment, you are creating a work culture equipped to reach new levels of success, while ultimately achieving a better place to work.

Lēad Blog is part of Adecco and Roevin Canada. Hire your perfect team, or get more staffing advice from our experts.