We go to professionals to tune up our cars, cut our hair, and fix our plumbing, so why do we roll our eyes when it comes to professional resume writers? We all consider ourselves experts when it comes to writing our resumes, even though we might be just as in-the-dark as we would be trying to fix our own pipes.
You might think you know everything there is to know about throwing together a great resume, yet you find yourself continually disappointed with the feedback from employers. Or the lack of feedback.
Stop staring at the phone waiting for it to ring and start being proactive. In this case, tackling your resume means asking for a helping hand. Professional resume writers, like any other specialty, know what they’re doing and can help you avoid the common resume blunders that have your phone on mute.
Here are some easily fixable blunders you might be making without some professional guidance:
Watch Out Pinocchio
As a young worker or new grad, you might be in the unenviable position of trying to fill up space on a sea of empty resume. This is where the Pinocchio syndrome can start to show its symptoms. Perhaps you’ll make your internship into a full-time position or extend the dates a bit on a previous work experience to make it look like you were there just a bit longer. Before you know it, your nose is growing and your resume has become more fiction than fact.
Before you shake your head because you’re too honest for this behavior, take a moment to reflect. According to statistics, 46 percent of resumes submitted contain some form of false information, yet when asked less than 10 percent of applicants admitted to their little white lies.
A professional resume writer would nip this behavior in the bud and help you turn your blank page into a work of art, not fantasy. This is because pros know 76 percent of employers always verify resume data, including speaking to former employers and checking employment dates. If you get caught in an innocent fib, your resume has already ended up in the trash.
Gone in Six Seconds
You spend hours perfectly crafting your resume and now you’re sure it’s great. You’ve created the Mona Lisa of resumes! You know employers won’t be able to take their eyes off of the beautiful resume you’ve created.
Which is true, you will get their attention…for approximately six seconds. A recent study found recruiters spend, on average, about six seconds looking over a resume before moving on. And those six seconds are actually an improvement over the previous time recruiters spent, which was about 3.9 seconds.
Professional resume writers know what recruiters look for and where they look on your resume. They can help you position your abilities, skills, and qualifications in such a way to ensure employers will get all the information they need.
Professionals also know how to deal with applicant tracking systems, which filter resumes through keywords. This means if you don’t know to include the right keywords, your resume isn’t even getting those six seconds of attention. Asking a pro means turning to someone who knows what recruiters and employers want.
What’s Your Objective?
Objective statements are like resume fossils which just keep turning up. Even though they should be extinct, candidates still feel the need to include an objective statement. Worse, most candidates include very, very bad objective statements. “I’m looking to obtain a position at your company,” is not an objective, it is like pointing to the sky and informing the employer it is blue.
Instead of a stodgy old objective statement, professional resume writers know you should show employers how you can bring value to their organization instead. Look at the spot at the top of your resume where you usually include your objective as a place you can put a value-based proposition. Show employers exactly why you’re the right person for the job using your skills and qualifications.
You probably wouldn’t cut your own hair and you definitely shouldn’t fix your own car if the most you know about automobiles is the location of the ignition. So why wouldn’t you consider hiring a professional resume writer? Asking for help might just be the key igniting your dream career.
Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for job search and human resources technologies. She is also the instructor of Find Me A Job: How To Score A Job Before Your Friends, author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011) and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.