93% of Resumes Have These Problems

New Leaf Resumes attended two BC Jobs Plan job fairs, offering free resume assessments. We served close to 100 people over 14 hours, and saw many common issues with resume formats and content. I guesstimate the prevalence at the noted figure!

Problem One: The Functional Resume

Far too many job hunters are relying on a functional format resume. This is the resume that selects two to four main skill areas (communication, customer service, leadership, for example), defines the use of the skill in two or three bullets and then simply lists an employment history with no explanation of any sort. The reason this ia a problem? Recruiters overwhelmingly don't like this style. Use the style at your own job search peril! A better choice is the reverse chronological.

There are many reasons for why this is so, and if you are curious, drop me an email!

Problem Two: Weak Resume Content

The second problem is that most job hunters do not have a clue about developing resume content! I know this is a blunt statement, but after what I saw, it fits. Having offered resume assessments in Ontario and now in BC, and having seen the same issue with content, I suspect that this may be a problem from coast to coast.

It is not enough to state a skill you used in a job with no explanation of how, why, what, where and to what end! Here's an example of what not to write:

Cashier, Wal-Mart (2005 - current)

- customer service

- point of sale technology

Why would this make you stand out? Is this your "best foot forward," as so many proclaim the resume must be? Might something along the lines of the following more reliably make you stand out from the hundreds of applicants?

- Provided a consistently high level of customer service, adhering to my employer's service standards with a smile, friendly and efficient service, and good nature, which earned a rating of "excellent" in each performance review.

I will leave these points with you consider! Working to your career success, Stephanie