Resume Tips to Keep You Competitive

Despite reports of mass layoffs and a shaky economy, many employers are still hiring across the country. As the job market becomes more competitive, it is important that candidates put their best foot forward and ensure that they are accurately represented to prospective employers. Thus, it is critical that resumes are thoughtful, polished, accurate, and free from some of the most common errors that candidates often make when writing their work experience.

Writing a Book: If you have more than ten years of experience it may be particularly challenging to keep your work history succinct, but nonetheless essential. Most employers only read a resume for thirty seconds or less and do not have the time to review five pages of work experience you possess. Not to mention the fact that some of your work history may be irrelevant, this leads us into error number two.

Listing Every Occupation: If you are new to the working world or have been working for a number of years, it is not necessary to list every single job you have held, especially if you have your college retail work on your resume from twenty years ago. It is important to remember that resumes are not meant to be a catalog of every single job you have had, but instead a brief outline that depicts your relevant work experience to the position you are applying. Relevancy is key when writing your resume—if it does not relate to the position or industry you are submitting your resume to, it may be best to leave it out.

Listing Personal Information: Putting your social security number, birth date, marital status, etc. on your resume is a big taboo. It is not necessary to provide employers with such detailed information in the application stages of the hiring process, not to mention the fact that you risk identity theft having personal data so accessible.

References Available upon Request: This is an unwarranted statement to put on your resume as any prospective employer will request references from you if you are being considered for a position, and it just takes up valuable real estate if you obey rule number one.

Although a stellar resume may not guarantee a job offer, it most certainly will make you a more competitive candidate. Most importantly, remember to maintain an updated and clean resume that may be made available to prospective employers as you never know when an opportunity may arise that warrants consideration for your candidacy.