Crafting a great resume is one of the most stressful and overwhelming parts of a job search.  Where do you start?  Is it too long? Is it too short? You don’t even like to write!  Rest assured that it is easier than it looks when you take the time to get your bearings first. Here are some of the most common mistakes and actionable tips on how you can avoid them. 

Impact over description. 


You want your resume to be a giant ad for the impact that you make in organizations and with others. Many job seekers lose the impact of their resume and cut themselves short on potential because they focus on what their job description is instead of what they accomplished. 

Shop Mechanic Manager Example:

Description approach
Oversaw employees and scheduling. In charge of $600,000 yearly budget. Made sure shop was clean at end of day and ordered supplies as needed. Counted money and made deposits. Kept financial documents. 

Impact approach-
General manager for $600,000 mechanic shop. Oversaw all financial aspects and human resource functions. 

  • Turned around business from losing 10k a year to profitability in 12 months by focusing on accountability and consistency with the team. 
  • Held highest customer service scores (92.3%) in the chain for two years. 2018-2020
  • Intentional development of the team led to lowering turnover rate from 65% to 25% in 18 months. Developed assistant to lead their own shop in 2019.

Take time to think about what you did during your time there. What was your impact on others? What were you most proud of to have accomplished? Put a short description of your role and then follow-up with accomplishments.

Follow the unwritten cultural rules


Another common mistake that people make is that they don’t know their cultural norms for a resume before they begin to craft their resume. In the States it’s considered unprofessional to include your picture and personal information on your resume. For our Baton Carriers in the Middle East and parts of Asia, it’s much more common to include your picture in your resume. 

I have seen pictures, the number of children they have and what their hobbies are on resumes. I see it as a large waste of space while other hiring managers may not even consider you for the role once they see your resume. 

Stick to regular paper for your resume. If you want to make it stand out, you can have it printed on heavier paper stock (not card stock) at a printing store. Avoid colored paper or paper with graphics. 

Keep it concise


You want your resume to represent you well while not being a short novel. Keep it to one or two pages, use bullet points and avoid large paragraphs.  This may put you in the inevitable crossroads of having to fight for every inch of space. It may be frustrating, but keep playing with it until you land it. When I’ve written my own or have helped others, I often find myself changing the spacing one point at a time to get it all to fit and look nice. 

Tweak it for each company


Build yourself a solid resume to use as a foundation and then tweak it to match each company. This should truly be small changes such as changing the title in the summary to match the title you are applying for. Also, change or add keywords that show up in the job descriptions that you are applying for. 

Jobscan.co is a great site that scans your resume versus the job description and then shows which keywords you are missing so that you can add them in. 

Look at examples online to help you out, follow these guidelines and you will have a killer resume in no time. 

Make a better tomorrow. 
-ZH