First, these are real world resume mistakes I’ve seen come across my desk and what’s highlighted below reflects feedback received from VP’s of Sales.
Your resume is so important, because that’s the first thing hiring executives see when considering moving you forward to a phone conversation or face-to-face meeting. The document should serve to tell a story of sorts, albeit with quantifiable data.
It must appear pleasing to the eye and closely match the job description to get you through to the next stage. As the first document an employer or recruiter will see representing your capabilities, you should complete your resume with clear focus, time, and care.
If you’re guilty of any of the below 5 mistakes, you’re likely costing yourself interviews.
1. Bad formatting and incorrect/inconsistent tenses
Your resume should be formatted perfectly. It should be consistent throughout in terms of bullets, text, and margins. Your resume should be readable on a mobile device as well as a computer screen. Saving and sending as a PDF is great shortcut that will ensure your resume is easy to read on any device. Ensure you use proper tenses. I often see resumes where the initial word in a sentence is the wrong tense. If you know someone who’s an excellent writer, by all means have them read through your resume and give feedback.
2. No rush-jobs
Yes, from time-to-time I still receive a resumes without contact information. Your contact information should be clearly highlighted in bold within the header of each page. Your summary of skills should be clearly visible, don’t hide them. Your skills should be bulleted and appear under your profile statement/summary. Check for overuse of a particular word or phrase. Several individuals within the hiring process will be reading through your resume and one may happen to be an English major. So yes, it’s important to present an impeccable document.
3. Readability and quantifiability
Your resume should be split up clearly with bullet points. Most importantly of all, quantify your sales success. Highlight quarters you blew away your quota, made President’s Club, and/or were sales executive of the year. Hiring managers want to see data and then if you make it to the next step, they want you to walk them through how you’d accomplished meeting and exceeding quarterly or annual sales targets.
4. Include relevant qualifications
It’s important to include any training or courses that may be important in getting you to the next step of the hiring process. For instance, and this came up recently, the sales role didn’t call for an Enterprise Account Executive to be a programmer, though the fact that one candidate did happen to study a particular programming language proved relevant for this specific role and helped them land the job.
5. Special projects
If you’ve led or participated in leading a team working on an important project, highlight this on your resume. Many hiring executives will view this positively. They believe leadership is an important quality, along with participating in a team effort. Remember, hiring executives, especially within startups seek candidates who have the ability to lend a hand in multi-faceted ways. Lastly, knowing you’re a “leader” starts to create a narrative for future advancement.