6. February 2012 21:42
Probably the best way to figure out how to write a great resume is to look at the biggest mistakes that people make when writing resumes. Some of the mistakes people make are funny, others are just sort of sad. But when you’re competing for a job in the healthcare industry, you need to be at the top of your game – so avoid some of the worst resume mistakes:
- Make yourself sound like a reliable, but boring, drudge. “Dependable, responsible and a good team player” is the sort of phrase that shows up on every resume, and it’s dull. Avoid empty descriptives and share your real strengths – list examples of where you’ve led teams, taught workshops, received accolades, or stood out from the crowd in a specific, substantial way.
- Fill your resume with a jumble of acronyms and buzzwords. No matter what it is that you write, read it out loud before you submit it. That applies to resumes, too. If your resume contains line after line of verbiage that makes the reader slow down to try and figure out just what, exactly, it means, then you need to simplify. Read it out loud and, if you find yourself wondering where to take a breath or stumbling over the words, streamline, trim and simplify.
- Badmouth your previous employers. You may not mean to do it – but, in making yourself look good, are you making your former employers look bad? A statement like, “Supervised a team of six nurses without receiving a pay raise for nine months ...” just sounds like sour grapes. You may not mean to be taking a swipe at your old bosses, but that’s what it will look like to the hiring manager, and it’ll give them a bad impression of your attitude.
- Disregard grammar. This should be obvious, but you might be surprised at what slips into people’s resumes. Have friends or family proofread your resume for lapses in grammar. You don’t want to look stupid before you even get a chance for a face-to-face interview.
- Provide too much information. Give your work experience and education information. Anything else – the model airplane club that you belong to, your passion for stamp collecting – are irrelevant and should be left off. Some people will tell you that listing your leisure activities makes you more interesting to the hiring manager. Those people are wrong – it makes you look silly and unprofessional.
- Leave off vital information. Make sure that everything that should be on the resume is actually there. Double- and triple-check your contact information, especially if it has been updated recently. Always include the months and years you worked at jobs on your resume. Employers need this information to determine your level of experience.
Your resume is the first thing that an employer will see, long before they find out what you look like, how smart you are, and how well you’ll fit with the existing healthcare team. Make sure your first impression is as professional and as smart as you are – it’s your first step to getting the healthcare job you deserve.