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  • Common Resume Mistakes

    By Katey Tryon and Mary Heideman

    In celebration of Tryon & Heideman’s first five years in business, we offered friends of the firm a complimentary strategic resume review. Resumes poured in from a wide range of individuals—from CEO’s to anxious moms and dads of recent college graduates. Although thousands of resumes cross our desks, this exercise highlighted what, as headhunters, we’re drawn to in a resume. Thought this perspective might be helpful to your readers.

    Target! Target! Target!—Help readers see the fit.

    • Keep the objective or summary statement short! You have a few seconds to grab or lose the reader.
    • Fit that objective statement to the organization or position you’re applying for.
    • Provide specific accomplishments for positions vs. position descriptors. Answer the question of how you benefited or affected change in that organization.
    • Quantify the effect you had on the organization whenever possible, such as “increased department revenues by 23%” vs. “enhanced revenues.”
    • Conduct a tough edit of the entire document for the most relevant information. Does the reader really need the address of the company you worked at five years ago? Probably not at this stage. But does the reader want to know how long you worked there? Probably so.

    Looks Matter!—How information is presented is as important as the information itself.

    • Step back and look at the entire document. Are margins lined up? Is there enough white space to ease readability? How does it look on the screen? Double check spelling, word usage, numbers, etc. We’ve had clients reject an otherwise great candidate based on a typo.
    • Allocate space to targeted priority items. One third of the page devoted to education that took place eight years ago can beg the question, “Yes, but what’s happened since then”?
    • Send a test email of the resume. An attached Word document ensures your formatting will remain, while pasting the text of your resume into an email may not appear or print as you intended.
    • Unless otherwise advised, email vs. fax resumes. Faxes rarely look “crisp” and may indicate lack of computer skills.

    As always, the basics do matter. If we can provide further information, please contact us at (816) 822-1976 or email us.