While it can be tempting to throw a few buzzwords such as “proactive” and “self-motivated” into a professional summary, recruiters know these terms are mere fluff and won’t be impressed when they see them. In fact, a survey by Career Builder found these words to be among hiring managers’ top 17 resume turn-offs. Instead of telling employers that you’re a “value-add”, use strong action verbs explain how you were able to improve a process, increase revenue or cut costs.
"I" or "me"
While there is some debate among HR professionals these days about the need to add a more personal tone to resumes, the generally accepted practice is to refrain from referring to yourself in the first person with pronouns such as “I” or “me.” Similarly, don’t use pronouns or your name to talk about yourself in the third person (i.e. “John is an accomplished IT professional”; “He is seeking opportunities to…”).
There’s no need to include salary information or hourly pay rates for roles you previously held. It’s not only unnecessary; it may send the wrong message to employers. Remember, your resume should showcase the value your professional experience and skills provide – not its cost to former employers. If a job application asks for salary requirements, address these questions in your cover letter.
Multiple phone numbers
Do you remember the scene in the movie “He’s Just Not That Into You” where Drew Barrymore’s character is complaining about playing phone (and email and Facebook and text…) tag with a potential suitor? The more phone numbers you introduce into the mix, the easier it is to miss an important message from a prospective employer. Avoid this confusion by listing one phone number, preferably the number for your mobile phone, where you control the voicemail, who picks up the phone, and when.
There’s no need to include personal information such as your social security number, marital status, nationality or spiritual beliefs. In fact, it is illegal for an employer to ask for these personal details. I also recommend removing your hobbies from the resume. Unless you’re incredibly new to the workforce or your activities are directly related to your target job, you’re merely wasting resume real estate.
Irrelevant social media accounts
Not only is this information a waste of resume space, but including personal social media accounts that aren’t aligned with your professional brand can derail your job search. Remove these links from your resume and take steps to safeguard your brand.
Flesh out at least one professional profile on sites like LinkedIn, GitHub, or About.Me, depending upon your line of work, and include the link at the top of your resume. If you work in a creative field, consider creating a personal site that has a mobile-responsive design so you can share your portfolio from any device.
Current employer's contact info
Remember, this contact information will be used by recruiters to contact you. Do you really want them calling you at work or using an email address that can be monitored by your current employer? Don’t inadvertently tip your boss off about your job-search activities. Always list your personal email address and phone number on your resume and job applications. The same goes for any social media accounts associated with your professional brand.
Don’t include embedded tables or images in your resume and avoid using the actual Header and Footer sections of the Word document, as these can confuse the employer’s online applicant tracking system, known as an ATS system, and scramble your job application.
Crazy fonts and colors
When choosing your resume font, stick to ones that are considered easy to read and won’t confuse the ATS systems: Arial, Calibri, Cambria, Tahoma, Book Antiqua or Franklin Gothic. If you’re in a creative position, save the creative designs for your online portfolio. Employers still need a version of your resume that can be easily uploaded, parsed and stored in their online tracking system.
SIX SECONDS TO CONVINCE
The average recruiter spends only six seconds reviewing a resume before deciding if it’s worth a closer inspection. When you only have six seconds to make the right impression, you have to make every word on your resume count.
Below is a list of 16 items you can remove from your resume right away that will help your job application avoid the hiring manager’s trash can..
We’ve all seen those generic objective statements talk about “[ ] professional looking for opportunities that will allow me to leverage my [ ] skills.” Avoid the run-of-the-mill objective statement and replace it with your elevator pitch. In a brief paragraph, explain what you’re great at, most interested in, and how you can provide value to a prospective employer. In other words, summarize your job goals and qualifications for the reader.
Unless you’re creating a CV to apply to positions outside of the United States, or you’re in the entertainment world and a head shot is part of the job, you should never include a picture of yourself with your resume. Your photo will likely clue the employer into your nationality, religion and age (among other factors) that could inadvertently lead to discrimination. No need to give them any of those details until they’ve considered your application based solely on your qualifications. Play it safe and leave the head shot off your resume.
Inappropriate email addresses
The email address email@example.com may have been cute when you were in college, but it’s not the best choice to represent your professional brand today. The same goes for shared family accounts such as firstname.lastname@example.org and email addresses that are offensive or sexual in nature. Do yourself a favor and sign up for a free address with a provider like G mail that’s reserved exclusively for your job-search and networking activities.
If you'd like to relocate for work, you probably already know it's best to leave your current address off your resume. However, it's becoming increasingly common for professionals to remove this information, regardless of their target location. If you're searching for a position in your current location and want employers to know you’re a local candidate, include your city and state. However, leave your street address off to protect yourself from potential identity theft.
CANADA STATISTICS LABOUR FORCE MAY 2014
UNEMPLOYMENT LASTING LONGER THAN EVER
The number of people out of work for half a year or longer was 272,300 last year, nearly twice as many as six years earlier. Those out of work for a year or longer numbered 96,400 last year – more than double 2007 levels, according to Statistics Canada data.
Longer bouts of unemployment are a problem for several reasons. The financial hit that occurs when one is without work for months on end means the person is faced with little spending, eroded savings and greater odds of falling into low-income status. Skills atrophy and networks unravel. More broadly, it spells lost productivity for a swath of the working-age population. Research shows that the longer one is out of work, the tougher it is to re-enter the labour market.
The long-term unemployed “are this group that is isolated from the labour market,” said Kory Kroft, assistant professor of economics at the University of Toronto, who has co-authored several studies on the issue.
“A lot of this is from anemic job growth, the recession and discrimination against the long-term unemployed.”
The US is not that different as we are paralleling the experience south of the board. In a recent field experiment, Mr. Kroft and his colleagues submitted more than 12,000 fictitious résumés to 3,000 employers in the U.S. Each resume had varying lengths of jobless spells. They found that the chance of getting a callback from an employer falls significantly with longer stretches of unemployment, with much of the decline in the first eight months.
The long-term unemployed are “an unlucky subset of the unemployed,” a Brookings paper in March said. Even in good economic times, they are “often on the margins of the labour market, with diminished employment prospects and relatively high labour force withdrawal rates.”
Older people generally have longer spells of unemployment than younger workers, according to a labour market assessment published by Employment and Social Development Canada last week. Men tend to be out of work almost twice as long as woman.
Labour mobility could alleviate the problem: For example, Regina’s jobless rate is 3.7 per cent while Peterborough, Ont.’s is 11.2 per cent.
Yet, 55 per cent of Canadians are not interested in moving for job opportunities, regardless of incentives, a survey conducted for Canadian Employee Relocation Council released last week showed.
Labour mobility could alleviate the problem: For example, Regina’s jobless rate is 3.7 per cent while Peterborough, Ont.’s is 11.2 per cent. Yet, 55 per cent of Canadians are not interested in moving for job opportunities, regardless of incentives, a survey conducted for Canadian Employee Relocation Council released last week showed.Policies should be geared to getting the unemployed more swiftly back into the labour market by, for example, shortening retraining programs.
A key cause of long-term joblessness is a lack of strong job creation, Mr. Kroft says. Last year’s job growth in Canada was the slowest since 2009. A skills mismatch in the job market may also be playing a role.
In Toronto, Christopher Lamb has sent out hundreds of job applications since last fall but finds his age, health and lack of current computer skills are barriers. The 61-year-old has worked in middle management, museums and most recently in retail. He’s considering retraining, though it’s tough to know which field is hiring. He’s making ends meet now “with difficulty” and his jobless benefits will soon run out.
He spends hours crafting cover letters and résumés, and has learned to play down work experience to hide his age, but often hears nothing back. “It’s discouraging. When nothing happens, you think, ‘why do I bother?’”
Ms. Morgan has felt similar frustrations. “I see a pattern of older individuals that aren’t working, people that have been in one company for a long time and all of a sudden, they aren’t needed any more.”
Statistics Canada will release its labour force survey on Friday. Economists expect that about 20,000 jobs were created in April, with the unemployment rate staying at 6.9 per cent.
Long-term unemployment - By the numbers:
· 20.3% - Share of people without work for 27 weeks or longer last year as a percentage of total unemployed
· 13.2% - Share of people without work for 27 weeks or longer as a percentage of total in 2007
· 272,300 - Number of people without work for six months or longer last year
· 142,300 - Number of people without work for six months or longer in 2007
· 88,600 - Number of people out of work for one year or longer in March, nearly double March, 2007 levels
· 21.1 - Average unemployment duration in weeks last year compared with 15.5 weeks in 2007 (for workers over the age of 55, the average climbed to 30 weeks last year).