Your resume is not just a list of work experiences and things you’ve learned over the years. Your resume should tell other things about you as well. Unfortunately, if you are not careful, your resume can provide an inaccurate picture of who you are and keep you from great opportunities. Be sure of the message your resume provides to readers. Here are a few ways in which your resume can hinder you from progress.

There Is Nothing Unique About You

This is the most common theme I see when I review resumes—there is nothing unique about the candidate. I know that there has been a lot of emphasizes placed on accomplishment-based resumes as opposed to task-based in the past couple of years. However, it seems like some people still have not gotten the message. I see so many resumes that speak to what individuals do on a daily basis, but never talks about the great things they have accomplished during that time. The message this gives the reader is that there is nothing unique about you. Anyone can copy and paste tasks onto their resume. Most people have an idea of what you do on a regular basis depending on your job title. Although it’s a good idea to provide a brief description (1-2 sentences) about what you do every day, you have to speak to the great things you’ve accomplished, the challenges you’ve faced, and the creative ways you’ve gotten around those curve balls in order to reach your goals. Including this information is what will show your uniqueness about and give the reader an idea about what they can expect from you if were to join their organization.

You’re Bored/ Uncertain

Nothing says that you’re bored or uncertain about your career more than jumping around in various industries. It’s perfectly fine to try some things out in order to figure out what you’re best at. However, I would suggest instead of jumping around from company to company, that you do more research before taking the leap. Connect with people in fields you are interested in, set-up one-on-one meetings or informational phone meetings. Pick your contacts brain on the things they do every day, what they like about their jobs as well as what they dislike. If you are still interested in the field after doing some research, then take the next step and try to put yourself in the actual environment to see if it’s a good fit. That doesn’t mean getting a job in that field soon after conducting research or meeting with industry professionals. Volunteer first, or find other ways to be in the desired atmosphere so you can decide if you want to enter the field. After putting yourself in the environment, if you find that you enjoy it, then decide to get a job. That way, it gives you a chance to explore but it won’t show up on your resume as jumping around and give the message that you are unstable.

No Desire To Get Better At Your Craft

This category usually is most prevalent amongst people who have had some time in the workforce or a particular field. People often get too comfortable in their careers. These individuals are usually making a decent salary, have great benefits, lots of vacation time, are possibly close to retirement, and know the ins and outs of their jobs really well since they have done it for quite some time. Nonetheless, there is no professional development to be found on these resumes. Their companies may even offer opportunities for professional development but these folks don’t take advantage unless they are required by HR. The danger with this scenario is if the person is suddenly laid off or the company closes. Since the person has not taken the time to continually grow, their options for opportunities outside of their current company are slim since the industry may have passed them by. Companies want people who are passionate about their craft. When a person has continued to train and get better at their craft, they will always be more appealing to companies.

You Really Don’t Want To Work

People understand that things in life happen that forces people out of the workforce for some time. Nonetheless, if you have a pattern of leaving the workforce for long periods of time on your resume, the message your resume gives is that you really don’t want to work. I’ve encountered some people who work just long enough so they qualify for unemployment, then they remain out of the workforce until they need work to qualify for unemployment again. If you have issues with your health or are a stay at home parent, many companies understand being out of the workforce. But if you don’t provide information about the gaps in your unemployment it will look to employers that you just aren’t motivated to work, and that’s not good.

So there you have it, 4 messages that your resume can give to employers if you are not paying attention. The key is to understand that beyond the work history, education, and any of the other sections typically listed on a resume, your document also has a message that it displays to readers. The good thing is that you are in control of the message that it gives. Be sure to look for some of the things I mentioned above to ensure that you don’t fall into any of these traps and provide a negative message about who you are. If you have further questions, feel free to reach out and I will surely answer.

I have helped many people find career happiness through my business Career SkyRocket LLC. If you need assistance in a job search or with developing  professional marketing materials (resume, cover-letter, LinkedIn Profile) check out my packages here:

Also if you enjoyed this article feel free to view some of my previous work. Here are some of my more popular articles:

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