With a new year set to arrive next week, many people may be assessing their job situations, employed or not, and looking to find a new career or at least a new company in which to work starting in 2018.
We reached out to Melissa O’Brien, business services manager at OhioMeansJobs-Butler County, and Matt Fetty, director at OhioMeansJobs-Warren County, to ask them several questions regarding creating a new resume or polishing up an old one. Here’s what they had to say:
Q. What’s the most common mistake people make when brushing up their resume for a career shift?
Melissa O’Brien: “A common mistake I see is the job candidate uses the same resume that worked in their previous careers when they’re pursuing new ones. Instead, resumes should be reworked to emphasize key qualifications for new objectives. The job candidate should research the new field to understand what hiring managers are looking for. They also should learn about and be knowledgeable of skills and credentials that would be helpful in their new career.”
Matt Fetty: “Making your resume too long. People will list every detail about their previous experiences when you just need to give an overview. Many hiring managers don’t have the time to look through multiple page resumes. If you leave the hiring manager enough material to get an overview but wanting to know more about you, it’s more likely they will call you in for an interview.”
Q. What’s the most important piece of advice you would have for those brushing up their resume to start looking for a new job in 2018?
MB: “Look for transferable skills from your previous career to your new one and highlight them in your new resume. A job candidate might consider a resume letter which emphasizes their desire for the industry and any related experience/training, but its narrative format allows the job candidate complete control over the information provided. They still should include current, up-to-date resume with their resume letter.”
MF: “My biggest piece of advice would be to tailor your resume to the job that you are applying for. The days of making one resume and submitting it to 20 companies are over. Each company is unique, so each one of your resumes should be unique. One simple step is to make sure that in the experience section of your resume you are highlighting any relevant experience you have to the job opening’s position description.”
Q. What words or terms should never be included on a resume and why?
MB: “Effective. Flexible. Hard worker. Hiring managers read several resumes when there’s a job opening, the same buzzwords pop up over and over again, to the point they lose all meaning. As a job candidate you want to be standing out, be unique, or make a mark these are all things employers look for when choosing candidates, but you will wont accomplish that goal if you’re over-using these tired words and phrases.”
MF: “Don’t use ‘I.’ It doesn’t look team oriented. Avoid slang and ‘text lingo.’ It’s not professional.”