Six Things You Should Omit From your resume.

I’ve been working with job seekers, employers and recruiters for over 10 years now and over the years I’ve seem many mistakes or things people place on their resume without giving much thought to it. Things that would certainly lead to them not securing the job they were applying for. And without knowing they are undermining their own chances at ever securing the dream job they’re looking for.

I’m sure if I had the time or focus, I could point out over 25 such mistakes, but today we’ll concentrate on six of them.

1. Job experience that’s unrelated to the position you’re applying for only clutters your resume and irritates the potential employer. Always consider that she may be a very busy person and that her time is of value to her.  Did your paper route or high-school job as a cashier at Walmart really prepare you to be a team leader of Java programmers? There are other ways to prove your people skills, so stick with the jobs and internships that are most relevant.

2. Like it or not, some hiring managers will discriminate against employees based on their age. Technically, this kind of discrimination is illegal, but if you seem too young or too old to do the job, you may not even get an interview — despite what the rest of the résumé says. It seems to be common place in the Caribbean and other former British colonies that age and other personal information is included on resumes, but I’m sure it’s illegal in those places for employers to ask for such information.

3. Lies about your previous job experience, inflated to make you seem like the right fit for the vacant position. If you haven’t worked in a managerial position, you’ll be outed with a simple phone call to your last boss and immediately disqualified from the rest of the hiring process. If you feel uncomfortable about your lack of skill, focus on the positive and show how other great qualities would make you a great manager or supervisor. With the right “focus” you’ll get that interview and then be able to convince the potential employer why you’re the right person for the job.

4. Who cares about what your hobbies are? While some employers like to see that you’re active in the community or have won nonprofessional merits and awards, no one really wants to know that you love knitting with your great aunt or were named the beer-chugging contest winner in university. When in doubt, leave it out.

5. When should you include information about your family? NEVER!  Whether or not you’re married or have children does not belong on a résumé. Employers will automatically assume that as a parent of small children you will be unavailable to work odd hours. YOU should be the one to make that call, not them.

6. Even if you have a hard time believing in your strengths, your résumé is not the place to show weakness. If you know that you’re not a born leader, consider writing that you work well in groups or that you take direction well. Putting a positive spin on yourself will help the hiring manager see you that way also. there’s absolutely no room on your resume for negative thoughts/words.

I’ll revisit this post in the near future with some other great resume writing tips, to help you in your quest to locate and secure a better paying job.

Life Lessons You Can Learn From Cleaning Your Closet.

We live in an older home, which means the few closets we have are very tiny compared to ones in newer homes. I guess people back in the old days didn’t have much need for large closets… maybe they didn’t have much clothes. Today we have “collections” coming out every season and if you can afford it, you’ll soon amass a huge pile of clothes. Lately when I go to the closet for something to wear I find myself struggling to remove stuff off the hangers, as they’re so packed in there. You can only imagine how difficult it is when I do laundry and have to find space to pack things away.

It took about 1 hour, but I now have a closet with tons of space and though it was tough (I like keeping stuff), I got rid of all the clothing items I know I would never use again. Yes, I’ve been keeping some of these pieces for years, always saying that I’d wear it again someday, but in reality I knew I would never use it.

The few days that followed saw me use this approach to life in general. I took a closer look at all the websites I have, how much time and energy they were costing me and the income derived from them. Only when you take a closer look at things do you realize how much time you waste on things that’s not profitable. I’ve been on a mission after this, getting rid of the websites that just didn’t make sense having any longer. I can now safely say that I’ve gained an extra couple hours a day, with the time I freed up.

Take a close look at your everyday life and try to identify things that are like the unwanted clothes in my closet. Things you can trim and make room for more positive activities.

How can you apply this to your job search? Take your resume for instance. How much that’s on there is not relevant to the job you’re applying for? There’s no need to clutter your resume with certificates that are not related to the job requirements. If you’re applying for an IT position, highlight your professional certifications or designations. Show a link between your past work experience and your current career goals. If the information doesn’t serve that purpose, delete it.

Today I’m working on cleaning up my desk, you won’t believe how messy (is that a sign of productivity?) and unorganized my desk is. If my mouse wasn’t attached via a cord, I would surely misplace it, in this mess. I’ve already found notes I made several months ago on a great idea for a blog that could potentially generate some incredible income for me. I wonder what else I’ll find?

How to target your application to fit the specific needs of the employer.

One of the biggest mistakes I see job seekers making on a daily basis, is saying everything the employers doesn’t necessarily want to hear. Employers are usually very busy people and the mere fact that they’re looking to hire someone is clear indication that they’re up to their neck in work and need help. So the very last thing they’ll want to do, is go through a maze to know if you fit the profile of the employee they’re looking to hire.

Here’s what I’ve noticed over the past 11 years when dealing with  job seekers and employers alike. The sad reality is that most job seekers look at 2 things when they see a posted job. The job’s title to see if it’s the type of jobs they’re looking for and the skills requirements that’s needed to perform said job. But there’s so much more to a job posting that’s prevents qualified applicants from ever getting past the job application step.

The job’s description is a good place to start, pay close attention to exactly what the potential employer is looking for. Not just skills but the actual duties involved. Then when you respond, key in on those specific areas and force home that fact that you can do all that they want. Highlight those areas very prominently in your application and this will not only make it easier for the ‘busy’ employer to find but it will show them that you pay attention to details. Something every employer homes in on, like a shark to blood. If you can’t act on instructions, you’ll never be able to complete assigned tasks competently.
Before I wrap up this article I’d also like to suggest that you pay very close attention to the specific application process itself. If the employer says to contact them via email and put a certain title in the subject of the email. Do so. They may be using a filtering process to make sure only job applications gets to their inbox. Chances are your application will never be seen or taken serious if you can follow simple instructions on applying.

Good luck with your job search and be sure to check out my website if you’re interested in applying for work or getting career advice.