Back to Basics: Silly Resume Mistakes

resume mistakes

You can find a plethora of advice and articles that contain intermediate and advanced tips for improving your resume. However, sometimes it’s good to go back to the beginning and review some of the basics. Typos, misspellings and poor grammar will get your resume tossed much quicker than using passive language or not writing effective section headings.

Sometimes candidates get so focused on the difficult bits of the resume that they bungle some of the easy stuff. Here are a few very basic, but very common resume mistakes.

Can you spell your own name?
Okay, so I’ve never seen a resume in which the writer actually misspelled his or her own name.
Believe it or not, however, people misspell the name of their city and/or state all the time. Whether it’s just a typo, or you just moved to Mississippi and you still miss the occasional “s” or “p”, it doesn’t look good.

Don’t rush through the proofreading of your contact information – you’d be surprised what you might miss.

“Mr. Smith is outstanding candidate”
Many people make the mistake of writing their resume in the first person. For example, you should never say “I increased sales by 50 percent”. Resumes should always be written in the third person. However, writing in the third person and referring to yourself in the third person are very different things.

If you want to turn off a hiring manager, use the following summary as an example:

“John Smith is an outstanding leader with 20 years of experience in turning around underperforming departments. Mr. Smith has undergone extensive sales training and he is ready to put it to work for your company.”

That paragraph is perfect for someone else to write as a reference for you. However, you should remember that you are not your own reference!

Okay, now just hit the spellcheck key and you’re done!
Spellcheck is not a fail-safe. It will catch misspelled words, but it won’t recognize your grammar fouls. Grammar is a particular pet peeve of many hiring managers, so mixing up you’re & your, its & it’s, hear and here, their and they’re, to & too, and lose & loose will lose (not loose) you the interview.

We have extensive experience helping job candidates perfect their resumes, so whether you need basic or advanced assistance, please contact us. If you’re in the market for a new career opportunity, please take a look at our list of open positions.

Don’t Put Your Job Search on Hold for the Holidays

Conventional wisdom holds that November and December are terrible months to look for a new job. After all, everyone has either physically or mentally “checked out” for the holidays, right?

Not necessarily.

While you may see a reduction in the number of positions listed on job boards, a lot is still going on behind the scenes. In fact, if you play your cards right, the holiday season can be a great time to find your next opportunity.

Here are a few tips for your holiday job search:

• Take Advantage of Reduced Competition
Many job seekers buy into the myth that the end of the year is a good time to slack off. That means reduced competition for you and your resume. Also, because hiring managers are receiving fewer resumes, they may see it as a good time to catch up, giving your resume an even better chance of being seen.

• Network at Holiday Parties
Whether you love or dread the constant flurry of parties and celebrations during the holiday season, the fact is that they can be a great place to network. Of course, you’ll want to take a different, more laid-back approach – nobody wants the hard sell on your qualifications while they’re at the eggnog bowl. But it doesn’t hurt to gently mention you’re in the market and see if you get some nibbles.

• Enjoy the Nostalgia Factor
How many times have you reconnected with an old friend around the holidays? People get nostalgic this time of year, so you may have a chance to touch base with someone you haven’t thought of in a while who can help with your job search. Pay attention to the holiday cards you receive and messages on your social sites – it might pay to rekindle an old relationship.

• Ring in the New Budgets
Many departments receive new budgets in January. So, while they may not be looking to start new employees in November or December, they might be ramping up to have people in place for the new year.

We’ll still be in full swing helping job seekers throughout November and December. Be sure to keep an eye on our list of open positions and contact us if you’d like some help with your job search, no matter what time of year it is!

It Takes More Than a Profile to Get Noticed on LinkedIn

You’re on LinkedIn, you’ve filled in all the blanks on your profile, and you’ve made some connections. Congratulations – you’re off to a great start! But there’s more work to be done.

If all you’re doing on LinkedIn is accepting the occasional connection request and scanning your newsfeed, you’re missing out on several features that can help boost your visibility and establish your industry expertise. It’s not enough merely to have a presence on LinkedIn; if you want to catch the eye of a potential employer, you need to step up and stand out.

Here are three LinkedIn features that can make the difference between getting noticed or getting passed over.

1. Updates
LinkedIn allows you to post updates that will appear in the newsfeeds of your connections. It is a great way to maintain visibility among your connections and also to show that you’re engaged in your industry.

Remember that LinkedIn is a professional social site, so it’s not the place for the same type of personal updates you might post on Facebook or Twitter. Ideal topics include timely, industry-related articles from trade publications; the “LinkedIn Today” section at the top of your newsfeed; or reputable, or high-profile sites such as Mashable or Forbes. Engaging, open-ended questions about trends in your industry are also great topics for updates.

2. Groups
LinkedIn groups provide a great way to network with other people in your industry. It is also a way connect with recruiters, who often participate in industry-specific groups for the express purpose of connecting with new talent. Groups are also a good place to learn about job opportunities that may not be posted elsewhere.

There are two ways to participate in a group. You can start a discussion by asking a question or sharing a link to an article, or you can comment on discussions other group members have started. Sharing your opinions and participating in conversations will help boost your visibility and establish your expertise in your field.

Another benefit of groups is the chance to increase your connections. People are often more open to accepting connection requests from group members than they are to accepting unsolicited requests.

3. Follow Companies
LinkedIn allows you to follow companies in much the same you would follow someone on Twitter. When you follow a company, all of their updates, which often include job listings, will appear in your newsfeed. Paying attention to the kind of content they share may also help you get a better picture of trends, concerns and culture at your target companies, so when you do get that interview, you’ll be ahead on your research.

If you’re looking for a good place to start increasing your LinkedIn presence, we invite you to join the discussion on our own LinkedIn group and follow The Wilson Group company profile page.

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We are eager to get you matched perfectly with the right talent or the right employer. Our years of experience translate to great starts.

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