Hiring managers are bored of seeing these résumé clichés. Here’s how you can avoid them.

Hiring managers are bored of seeing these résumé clichés. Here’s how you can avoid them.
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Career consultant Jenny Foss said listing your jobs is not enough to catch a recruiter’s eye.

  • Job applicants can undersell themselves with tired tropes in their résumé.
  • It’s better to view it as a marketing tool, said career coach Jenny Foss.
  • She said the mistakes she sees include using jargon and listing every job they’ve had.

Your résumé and cover letter are a hiring manager’s first impression of whether your skills and experience match the job you want.

Jenny Foss, a career consultant and author of “What to Do (and NOT Do) in 75+ Difficult Workplace Situations,” said too many candidates fall into cliché that bore recruiters and undersell applicants.

She listed three mistakes to avoid.

1) Listing only your duties and responsibilities

Foss finds the majority of her clients undersell themselves to potential employers because they focus on writing the duties and responsibilities they’ve held in a role without highlighting the impact they’ve had or the outcome they’ve delivered.

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“A lot of people tend to assume or fear that, if they don’t have obvious quantitative results, then they can’t share it because there are no numbers to highlight,” Foss said, adding that qualitative results count just as much.

For example, you could highlight how you’ve transformed a team as a leader, she said.

To highlight your impact, Foss recommended going through each bullet point of your résumé and asking: “So what? Why am I sharing this?”

If you’ve said that you manage Fortune 500 companies, for example, she said, ask yourself: “What’s the significance of that? What’s the outcome?”

You should show the business significance of what you have done in a role and why it matters to the job you’re applying for, she said.

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2) Jargon and buzzwords

There are certain cliches you see over and over again in résumé, Foss said.

She said candidates should avoid using the terms “detail-oriented,” “track record of,” and “responsible for” without qualifying them.

“If you’re detail-oriented, show me an example in your experience section where your meticulous organizational skills came into play and worked out well,” Foss said.

It’s best to avoid company-specific jargon and acronyms, too, she said.

3) Including every job you’ve ever had

Foss said that just because you’ve done something doesn’t mean you need to include it.

You don’t have to include a bad job you left after a few months, she said. Or if you’re worried that a hiring manager will think you’re old if your career goes back too far, you can leave your first job out.

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“This is not your autobiography. It is a marketing tool,” she said, adding the aim is to give the hiring manager enough information to invite you for an interview.

It’s also fine to include a career break in your résumé, whether it was for a sabbatical, childcare, or travel, Foss said. People tend to over-explain them or become apologetic, but there’s nothing wrong with stating “career break” or “professionally active career break,” she said.

Be unapologetic about it, she said, and move on to focus on your qualifications for the role.

Read the original article on Business Insider


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