A resume is a necessary document for finding work today. This document is often the first thing that hiring managers review before bringing candidates in for interviews, and it’s looked over with a great deal of scrutiny. A seasoned recruiter or hiring manager can easily spot errors, gaps in employment, and potentially false information on a resume in a matter of seconds. They know from statistics that more than half of all applicants falsify some of their information.
Are you sure your resume reflects accurately your work and educational history, or have you elaborated a little too much to look good to hiring managers? Now is the time to correct these errors and fact check your own resume. Here’s how:
Add the skills you actually have
Your skills are what matches you up to jobs and this is the area at the top of your resume that needs attention. Update your skills and only include those you actually have. Don’t fluff up this area with skills that don’t make sense (such as management skills when you’ve only held entry level positions).
Double check all dates of employment
Your dates of employment will be verified by the hiring manager, so be sure they are correct. If you can’t remember them, pick up the phone and call your former employers HR department to confirm this information.
Include real achievements at each job
Instead of descriptions of jobs you’ve held, you should be including achievements you had while employed. But keep them accurate and realistic. Include percentages of improvements you’ve had (like increase in customer satisfaction, or percentage of sales) and make sure you can back them up with proof if asked.
College degrees and certificates
If you are currently a student working towards a college degree, you will want to include your estimated graduation date on your resume. Certifications and credentials should also be listed, but be sure you have actually earned them. Dropping out or quitting doesn’t count.
Explain any gaps in employment more than one month
Everyone has had at least one period of time when they were not working. It happens. Just be honest about it. If you have had a gap for more than a month, include a little note in your resume to explain why. You could just write “attending classes” or “caring for new baby” for example.
Provide real professional references
One area where nearly 30 percent of people try to falsify their information is when it comes to professional references. Don’t use your neighbors and friends for this purpose. Include real references and if you can, attach written reference letters from former co-workers or managers to your resume that will save the recruiter time.
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