When reviewing resumes and cover letters, employers have no interest in playing guessing games. Hiring managers simply don't have the time or inclination to try to decode vague or ambiguous statements.
It's your job to connect the dots for them by clearly explaining who you are, what you've done professionally, and how your skills and abilities would benefit the organization.
"WORK HISTORY: I was promoted at my last job. Need I say more?"
Actually, yes, you should.
"OBJECTIVE: Anything legal."
He's either a very unfocused law school grad or a reformed criminal.
"EXPERIENCE: I have worked at places during my career."
We suspected as much.
COVER LETTER: "I have a secret. Some employers can handle it. Others can't. Can you?"
That kind of depends on what it is.
Hopefully, he has "Barry" nice things to say about you.
"HONORS: Received praise."
Anything specific or just a general "good job"?
While some job seekers fail to provide enough pertinent facts, others offer too many irrelevant ones. Make sure each bullet point or sentence gives the hiring manager a good reason to hire you. Remember: Random musings and tidbits about your personal life won't win you an interview.
"PERSONAL: I can pass background checks and drug tests. But please stay out of my credit file!"
"ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Have received three marriage proposals."
You haven't engaged us yet.
"OTHER: Own a car with built-in GPS."
Does that mean you're not self-directed?
Finally, a photograph or physical description of yourself should not appear on your resume.
"PERSONAL: Easy on the eyes. But each morning I have to take a shower, wash my face and shave to look nice."
You should have scrubbed those two sentences.
(Max Messmer is CEO of Robert Half International, a specialized staffing firm. Send examples to Resumania, c/o Robert Half International, 2884 Sand Hill Road, Suite 200, Menlo Park, Calif. 94025. Or, visit www.resumania.com.)
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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