Boston Herald

5 signs that you have a boring resume

- By Stephanie Vozza

Résumés are fairly cut-and-dry documents. Following the traditiona­l “template” helps you convey your background and essential skills in a way that’s easily grasped by a hiring manager. But coloring inside the lines too closely could result in a resume that’s a yawner.

“I read résumés and cover letters daily and there are usually a couple handfuls of those that are unique and different and pull me in, making me want to interview this person,” says Cheryl Hyatt, cofounder of Hyatt-Fennell Executive Search.

While what makes a résumé interestin­g may be subjective, here are five signs that your résumé is lackluster:

It’s Missing Numbers

A résumé usually regurgitat­es the responsibi­lities you had in your position, but it shouldn’t be just a bunch of words. A vice president, for example, would list that they oversee a team, but that’s boring, says Hyatt.

Numbers help underscore accomplish­ments and demonstrat­e that you understand your role and your job. For example, “I increased productivi­ty in my department by X percent.” Or, “Retention on my team was at 98% while I was in charge.”

It’s Too Comprehens­ive

Keeping things simple is most important when it comes to writing a résumé, and that means weeding out informatio­n that isn’t relevant, says Janet Sheffer, associate director of employer engagement at Arcadia University in Philadelph­ia.

Some skills may be transferab­le, but if it results in a résumé that’s more than two pages, it can feel heavy and hard to digest. Focus on the most important jobs and duties, suggests Amy Marcum, manager of HR services for the HR provider Insperity.

“Listing work history from high school, college, or several decades prior can seem unfocused and lose a recruiter’s interest as they sort through irrelevant jobs,” she says. “Exclude roles from a résumé that do not illustrate relevant skills or success.”

It Duplicates Your Cover Letter

“You don’t want a cover letter that just reiterates what’s on your CV, and you don’t want a CV that’s so long and broad that you don’t have anything left to describe in your cover letter,” says Hyatt.

It’s Passive

Vicki Salemi, career expert for the job site, suggests being intentiona­l about including action-oriented verbs attached to responsibi­lities. For example, “leading teams,” “driving engagement,” and “running operations.”

“Your executive summary is one area to focus on since the rest of your résumé will highlight your work experience,” says Salemi. “Adjectives like ‘dynamic,’ ‘go-getter,’ ‘self-starter’ are some examples of vibrant words to use.”

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