Skip to content

Posts from the ‘Resumes & Cover Letters’ Category

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.

 

Get your Resume to Stand Out

If you’re like many others, you scour job opportunities online, find the job you think you’re perfect for, then complete the online application process.  Then you wait and hope you’re resume will be selected from the many other applicants.  Albeit that many live that same reality, there are ways to make sure your resume makes it to the top of the pile. Here are 5 tips to get your resume to stand out from the crowd.

  1. Use keywords

The first scan of your resume is not always human. Some organizations rely on Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to manage the influx of applications to quickly filter qualifications and experience. To make sure your resume passes this automated step, customize it to include keywords found in the job posting to allow the ATS to scan your resume and pick up on the experience that is in line with the role — making sure you don’t get filtered out.

  1. Make the link

It’s vital to make the link between your skills and experience, to the role at hand. Simply acknowledging your years of experience in a similar position won’t cut it. Rather, showcase how your experience and skills translate into you being the ideal candidate for the job. By simply finding the link, hiring managers will be able to determine your potential and suitability for the role.

  1. Find your style

Selecting a style for your resume should be mindful. Choose to lay out your experience and skills in a manner that speaks to your professionalism and personality. For example, if you’re applying for a marketing or designer role, the layout you choose should showcase your creativity by using colours and out of the box layouts that capture your vital information. However, if you’re applying for a role where creativity isn’t a criteria, then try to keep it classic. Keep in mind; solid black fonts and distinct sections will guide the reviewer to find the information they need to assess your suitability.

  1. Focus on achievements

Your achievements are as important as your past work experiences and skills.  It’s your achievements that provides an organization with insight into what you’re capable of. Key achievements to highlight can include how you positively impacted revenue, launched process improvements, implemented best practices — the list goes on. Think strategically when compiling this list as it paints the picture of how you can provide added value to the role and company.

  1. Customize

Every job testing tells a story.  Companies tend to put the most important elements of the role up front — and your resume should be no different. From experience, to skills, to education — mimic your resume to highlight what is important in the role to catch the attention of the person reading it.  From everyone else who has applied, it may just be what makes you stand out.

A lot of time is spent preparing a resume and applying for jobs, so don’t go unnoticed. By tailoring your resume for each job and ensuring you provide the information that will show a future employer what you bring to the table, you will increase your chances of landing an interview.


 To view more of our blogs and articles, visit our resources page on our website.

Employment Allies: How Recruiters Help Shape a Positive Impression of a Candidate

When working with a recruiter for the first time, it’s common for applicants to feel a little hesitant or unsure. Many job seekers are used to traditional ways of applying for jobs—hand-delivering resumes, searching job boards, applying online and following up with Hiring Managers. While these may be perfectly acceptable methods for landing a great job, there are ways of making your job search more efficient—and using a reputable Recruitment Agency is one of the best approaches out there. In an ever-increasing online landscape where employers have access to qualified candidates across the country (and often—the world), you need a personal advocate to shine a spotlight on your unique profile, skill set and fit for a company.

An experienced and specialized recruiter is an invaluable asset for your job hunt. They can help shape an employers’ positive impression of you through myriad ways:

They know how to “sell” you to their clients

Recruiters have strong and long-standing relationships with their clients (the very organizations with whom you’re looking to secure a job). They understand exactly what Hiring Managers look for when reviewing an applicant—the keywords that jump out at them and the deal breakers that make them turn away. This allows the recruiter to recommend small adjustments, diction and format changes to your resume and profile to ensure they meet their client’s expectations and starts their impression of you off on the right foot.

Employers trust their recommendations from previous successes

It’s a recruiter’s job to intimately understand the types of candidates their clients are after, the skill sets that lead to success in their roles and the personality traits that are needed in their organization. Based on previous hires, the client has good faith in a recruiter’s ability to know their business and company culture, and secure lasting candidates that fit within it. Employers take a second look at a resume they would otherwise pass on when presented by a recruiter they trust.

They act as a “live” cover page for candidates

Have you ever submitted an online application and wished you could have a direct conversation with the Hiring Manager about why you are the perfect fit? Well, that is exactly what recruiters are hired to do! Recruiters spend their time getting to know the candidates they work with—above and beyond checkboxes on an application—and have an ear with the client when it comes time to advocating for a good match. Recruiters present clients with complete candidate profiles and make personalized recommendations of best-fit candidates. They can speak to your education, experience, professionalism, presentation and personality traits, and mitigate any shortcomings you may have “on paper”. This makes all the difference for getting talented candidates through the door.

Career Builder, 2016

Career Builder, 2016

Additional benefits that recruiters provide to job seekers include:

  • Knowledge of company culture: Based on previous placements, site visits and communication with Hiring Managers, recruiters are able to give you an inside look into an employer’s culture and values—information otherwise not available to candidates.
  • Interview tips: Recruiters can prepare candidates on commonly asked interview questions, go over employers’ priorities, recommend appropriate attire and suggest which documentation to bring to the interview. They’re also a dedicated point of contact for all your interview questions and concerns. When you come prepared and dress like you already belong, it helps employers envision you working there. And recruiters can help with that prep!
  • Salary negotiation: Recruiters from leading Staffing Firms have access to the research reports, national salary guides and internal pay databases their companies put together. Top firms even offer their recruiters training on professional negotiation techniques. They study fair market compensation and go to work to negotiate a salary that meets both your expectations and their client’s pay range (and as experts, can even successfully persuade clients to raise it).
  • Assistance on job preparation & training: Based on the position’s requirements, recruiters can administer testing that identifies your strengths and weaknesses, your personality profile and your work style in a team environment. Recruiters can then offer online training or refresher courses to strengthen your knowledge. At Adecco, we provide free online training course to all our Associates on various software, customer service & office skills, health & safety, and many others. Your resume gets a boost from these new courses and you come off as an expert when it’s time for the interview.
  • Feedback from previous placements: Recruiters can share insider tips and tricks they learned from past candidates they’ve placed with a company. This can help you have a smooth transition into your new role and company, and set you up for success.

Recruiters are experts at cutting through a slurry of applicants and identifying the most suitable handful who will exceed expectations, gel with the company culture and excel in a role. For all these reasons, recruiters are true allies of both candidates and employers alike.

Benefits of Submitting Your Resume Online

Looking to have your resume fall into the hands of recruiters? The more career websites and staffing sites you submit your resume to, the easier it will be when it comes time to securing job offers. A simple way to have your online information working for you is by submitting your resume for job postings online.  Employers and staffing companies utilize portals which store your resume and contact information in one location for them to access later. Have you ever considered setting up a profile? Let’s take a look at some of the benefits to establishing a profile on a staffing website or employer’s career portal.

Read more

What I’ve Learned (So Far) – Career Advice from an Adecco Summer Intern

Adecco’s Proposal and Marketing Intern Katelyn Reischke is sharing her advice on how to take advantage of career opportunities as a student seeking relevant employment. Check out her tips below.

Read more

How to Highlight Technical Transferable Skills for Any Role

Are you an engineer who’s disenchanted with engineering? Maybe you’re a programmer who’s peeved with programming? Career changes are a part of professional life now more than ever, even if you’re “simply” moving from a technical career path to a managerial one in your current field. Unfortunately, technical professionals are sometimes stereotyped as lacking the kinds of soft skills that employers like to see in non-technical roles.

Employers sometimes believe – mistakenly – that technical people, while great when it comes to the nuts and bolts of particular products and other pragmatic problems, are not practiced enough in the delicacies of dealing with people. They assume not only that “soft skills” is synonymous with “transferable skills”, but that these skills are innate rather than learned (or learnable).

So if you’re a technical professional trying to transition into a non-technical role, the key to success lies in overcoming the unfair stereotypes surrounding your soon-to-be former field by highlighting just how transferable your skills really are. Read more