Work Experience, Marketing, Resume, Digital Resume, projectships, Digital Profile
JOB HUNT / 14 December 2016
Avoid These 3 Common Resume Phrasing Mistakes
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Amanda Nguyen

We all know that resumes are one of the most crucial details in a job search. Your resume is your best chance at making a first impression to get offered the interview. It can be difficult to write a resume exactly so that the hiring manager understands your capabilities, but the best way to show them what you can do is to be articulate in writing your resume. Don’t just tell them what you did, demonstrate it in the most precise way possible. 

Here are 3 common phrasing mistakes you want to avoid making:

1. Listing out your tasks.

Cash handling, sales, and customer service 

What your responsibilities are is just as important as how well you performed. However, phrasing your experience in this way on your resume only tells the hiring manager exactly that: what you did. How would they know if you excelled at your responsibilities? 

Let’s improve this bullet point. What kind of sales were you responsible for? How did you conduct these sales? Were you responsible for keeping track of cash transactions? Address these questions when you expand your experience. 

Provided efficient customer service through email and phone conversations. This lets the hiring manager best gauge your capabilities in customer service. 

This lets the hiring manager best gauge your capabilities in customer service. They now know how you facilitated service and know what channels you are comfortable with working through.

2. Writing an entire paragraph about your time in a position.

I spent my time at The Company working with their Marketing department on many projects. One of the projects I worked on was evaluating how well our Facebook and LinkedIn ads were performing. I also provided feedback on upcoming marketing campaigns and materials we distributed. With my team, we increased revenue by 30% through our ad campaigns.

A hiring manager is spending, at most, a couple of minutes scanning your resume. Your experience needs to jump out at them (read here for tips on standing out!). They’re going through hundreds of resumes. If you provide them the information they’re looking for in the most concise way possible, there’s a better chance they’ll look through your entire resume before continuing on to the next one. Use bullet points and short phrases. There are a lot of unnecessary details in the paragraph that you can expand on at a later point in time (perhaps during the interview!). 

Worked with Marketing to evaluate effectiveness of ad campaigns on networking sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn

Provided effective feedback to establish campaigns that increased revenue by 30% 

Which one is easier to read? Phrasing your experience in a paragraph makes it unnecessarily long; this takes the reviewer longer to get the important information. They may not even make it through your entire resume before passing. Bullet points let them narrow down keywords to focus on the information that matters to them.

3. Not listing quantifiable accomplishments.

Let’s take a look at the first example again. Did your customer service you provided increase customer retention or bring in new regular customers? While you were responsible for sales, did you increase revenue? Quantifying your experience and turning them into accomplishments gives examples to the hiring manager as to what you can do for them. 

➤Increased customer retention by 20% through effective customer service

➤Increased sales revenue by 25% by creating and implementing a new sales process Highlighting your accomplishments shows how valuable of an asset you can be to your prospective employer. This is one, in many ways where a resume error could look unprofessional. Here are 7 more that should always be avoided.

Don’t Forget About Online Resumes

Online resumes, like traditional resumes, are equally as important for getting yourself in front of a hiring manager. They’re easier to update and you’ll always have a current one available to anyone who is viewing it. You can create an online resume by creating a personal website, a LinkedIn profile, using a splash page service similar to AboutMe, or creating a ProSky student profile. 

Online resumes will give you room for personality. It’s highly recommended to omit your picture from a traditional resume, however, it is normal for most online resumes to feature a picture. You’ll have the flexibility to demonstrate your creativity by choosing different styles and formats as well! The difference in styles will help your resume stand out to a potential employer. Here is another post that discusses the current conversation between digital vs. the traditional resume. 

Get started with your online resume by creating a ProSky candidate profile.

ProSky’s student profiles allow students to showcase their skills and experience in the same way as a traditional resume, but will give you the flexibility to let your personality shine! ProSky’s student profiles are clear and formatted best for you to get the most relevant information across. The best part? Companies working with ProSky are always looking at student profiles. You’re not going to be in a constant search to find new prospective employers to send your resume. With ProSky’s student profiles, they’re already looking for you. 

Your traditional resume lets you meet expectations, but your online resume can let you excel. In today’s job market, we’re all looking for the best ways to stand out. Create a student profile with ProSky and start practicing your resume writing skills.