Resume problems can make you look low tech in the eyes of prospective employers. Not a good thing. Here's how to identify, and fix, these resume problems.
Let's say you've just entered the job market. Your suit is crisp and your shoes reflect your confident smile. You've read Dale Carnegie and you're stoked. The last thing on your alphabetized "To Do" list is the note to stop by the office supply store and pick up a brand new ribbon for the Smith-Corona, "'cause I'm gonna need a crackerjack resume."
I applaud your gusto, as well as your finger musculature (those old typewriters are like a trip around the weight room). But sadly, you're not getting employed anytime soon. Why? Because the end product of your resume efforts will be a shout-out to the world that you're low tech. Not good. Especially in today's job market with your competitors LinkedIn, Twitter'd up, and texting at a blistering rate. Here's how to avoid a resume that makes you look low tech, and thus reduces your chances for employment.
Retire The Typewriter
If your resume is typed, or even printed on a dot-matrix printer, that's the first clue that you're behind the times. Hiring managers today expect to see a contemporary layout, header design and a brilliance of font that can only be achieved with a up-to-date application software and a laser or ink-jet printer. Yes, that old Smith-Corona has served you well. But it's time to relegate it to the same corner of the house where you keep the other museum pieces: your high school ring, Betamax, cassette player and Nehru jacket.
Check Your Contact Information For Missing Pieces
If you have a land-line phone, that number of course needs to be on the resume - unless it's a dedicated kids' line. But if you have a cell phone, include that number, too. Call it a "mobile phone" to give the subtle impression that you're a man or woman "on the go," and not waiting around for the land line to ring.
Do you have an email account? If not, get one and put the address on your resume. Many recruiters and hiring officials find it more convenient to drop a candidate an email rather than waste time trying to chase somebody down by phone. Make sure you give them that option. And just a friendly heads-up: if your email address is, shall we say, less than professional, get an auxiliary email to use for your job search.
Put Your Web Presence To Use
Include a Web address if it leads to a Web resume or professional profile that provides more detail than your paper resume. Skip it if it leads to your ruminations on the literary appeal of Star Trek.
Keep Your Photo In The Drawer
The modern resume for the U.S. marketplace should not include a photo unless you're applying for positions in modeling. Period.
If you've managed so far to live your life without a computer, more power to you. But if you're also trying to find a job, you're at a disadvantage. For those writing their own resume, you'll need a computer loaded with Word (preferable), WordPerfect or a similar application software. Plus, most companies today not only accept job applications online, but many are conducting all their recruiting efforts over the net. My advice? Either get a computer, or get good at the computers in your nearby library. Get access to a good laser or ink jet printer for hard-copy resumes. And learn how to send "electronic" resumes over the internet via email, or as postings to job boards and company websites.
If the task seems daunting, know that there are professional resume writing services that can help with everything from writing and developing your documents in the proper formats, to setting up web resumes and resume distribution strategies.