Getting a job these days is tough, especially for young women. You send in resume after resume, go through interview after interview and still get no offers. Potential employers will never tell you why you didn’t get the job you wanted for fear of legal problems or lawsuits. If you’ve heard, “You just weren’t right for the position,” or “We’ve identified a candidate who is more qualified,” on a regular basis, it isn’t always true. I spent several years working for a recruiting firm and I know the rules of the game, which though not always fair aren’t going to change for you if you want a job in corporate America. The secrets behind your rejection will never be revealed to you anywhere else because of a suffocating veil of political correctness. The following list could anger you, outrage you, offend you…or change your life and help you go from unemployed to happily employed.
And we start with… making sure your resume looks good.
10. Resume Gaffes
Your resume is the very first impression an employer has of you. There is no excuse for mucking it up with childish errors. If you do send out creative spelling in a resume you should know that all employers are aware of spell-check and will think you are too lazy (or computer illiterate) to use it. Any resume with spelling errors is not even seen by hiring managers because the first person in the chain of resume review (me) is instructed to file them in the trash. Use spell-check. But don’t stop there. Get a new pair of eyes, a friend, a teacher…the guy at the library, to read it over and look for mistakes you may have missed.
Don’t try to make your resume stand out with anything other than your skills. In these days of email and paperless systems, there is little need to print a resume anyway, but if you do, do not choose marbled card stock with cutesy borders. Use plain white copy paper. If you send out your resume by email (which most hiring managers prefer) do not use the stationery templates with clouds or dancing smileys. Save that for the “I got a job” e-vites you’ll be sending out when you find work! Anything that distracts the reader from your skills is a liability. Unless you’re auditioning for a Broadway show, no one needs to see your head shot. (Yes, people do this. I don’t know why.) Rest assured if you send a resume with your glamour shot on it, everyone in the office is going to have a lot of fun laughing at it before they throw it out. Classic and traditional resume templates in Word are the only way to go.