Career Coach News: Resume Advice Tips, Part 1

Resume Advice Tips

Don’t Make These Job Search Mistakes

If you’re looking for a job, there are some big mistakes you could be making with your employment search — without even realizing it. Career expert Donna Svei has some resume advice tips to help you.

Svei, the founder of the popular job advice site, has over 23 years’ experience in the employment field, and she has seen it all. The job hunting coach shared with the Think Human resume tips and advice for some of the most common issues she comes across:

* An unclear message on your resume: Svei says that if it’s not clear what type of job you’re looking for, the person doing the hiring won’t know what to make of you. Remember, somebody hiring gets literally hundreds of resumes, and they don’t have the time to do much more than a quick scan initially. And if the skills you have that directly relate to the job aren’t front and center on the job seeker portfolio, you may not get a second chance to make a first impression. The job hunting coach says one of the resume writing advice tips she gives is to aim to put something very interesting about your career “upfront and center” on the resume.

* Emphasizing years of experience: Svei says there’s a big difference between a resume that reflects ten progressively increasing years of experience, as opposed to ten years of the same kind of experience. Just saying you’ve done the same job a long time could indicate problems with your performance.

* Going down memory lane: The coach says that in most cases, there’s not much point in going much past ten years on your resume. Instead, you should emphasize “what’s most relevant” in your career experience in the past ten years.

* A poorly-written resume and/or cover letter: “How a person writes is a reflection of how they think,” Svei says. A job seeker portfolio that has misspellings, grammatical errors, typos, and hard-to-understand writing will not make a good impression. As for cover letters, Svei offers this resume writing advice — she says only half of the people doing hiring care about them. She puts herself in the other half, saying that she’s only read four “great” cover letters in 23 years. But no matter what you do with your cover letter, make sure it’s well-written.

* A cookie-cutter resume: Svei says that too many times, professional resume writers will create a resume that has an easily recognizable “cookie-cutter format and approach,” without unique resume tips and advice. She says it’s worth it to pay a little more for the expert’s time to get resume writing advice that is unique to you, instead of having them use a generic template.

* Talking only about what you want to discuss: “Why would you talk about your ability to do X, Y, and Z when a job doesn’t require that?” Svei asks. Instead, you should focus in the interview on how your skills can benefit your prospective employer.

Read Part 2 on Svei’s resume advice tips. You can also read more of her job search ideas at