Friday, 30 November 2012

Biggest Resume Mistake

Resume is like a canvas in every professional's career which showcases our career and accomplishments over several years and decades. It is a picture which we create, of our professional selves which we use to get our next job!

We get the job and then again after a few months or years we get back to working on our canvas (read resume) to transform or add to the professional picture we once were. Just like us, human beings, it is constantly changing and evolving to depict the person that we are. 

For most of us it is the most prized document, something which we are proud of. For some it is just a canvas - use, misuse, paint, erase. F&B Manager one day, Sales & Marketing - Head the other. Could it be reflecting their mood or does it reflect their multiple personalities that of a F&B Manager, S&M Head and much more. Really, I know of this gentleman who sent us his resume stating that he worked with a company in UK as a F&B Manager. He wanted to relocate to India for family reasons. I guess he did find a job in India as after almost a year later he got in touch with us again. This time to change his job from where he was working in India for the last 8 months. He sent us his updated resume. Upon going through the resume this time one of our team member noticed that he had changed his designation from F&B Manager to Sales & Marketing Head in a hotel in UK. He must have forgotten that he had shared his resume with us a year back when he was a F&B Manager. How stupid? What is it that motivates them to paint a complete different pictures of themselves with every revision of the document. I wonder.

In my work as a head hunter I come across various examples of lying, hiding, mistakes on the resumes and that makes me wonder as to why would an individual want to harm their own career. Trust me, any single fact that we twist, hide, erase or change comes back to harm us and our career's at some point sooner or later. 

While speaking to candidates I always insist on being completely transparent to me and to themselves. Even if you were at an organisation for 2 months please mention that on the resume. Be truthful and be confident. So what if you got fired. The best thing to do is to be honest as honesty takes you far and beyond than lying would. So what if you do not get this job, you will the next or the next, but you will! Important thing is to be honest and transparent. It is a virtue which not only will reflect on your resume but also in your personality.

Few Don't's:-
  • Please do not lie. NEVER on the CV.
  • Do not hide a job
  • Do not change / twist what you did or what you were working as.
  • Do not ever change dates of employment.
  • Do not exaggerate your accomplishments.
  • Do not blind copy someone else's resume.
  • Do not copy cover letters (We get tired reading the same cover letter). 
  • Do not throw figures in the dark ( specially in millions)
  • Do not send us your resume if you have done any of the above in your resume.
Important DO's
  • Be honest and transparent which results in being CONFIDENT of who you are.
  • Take time to draft a cover letter, even if it does not look fancy or carry impressive words. It does not matter, what matters is the effort. 
  • Even if you do not have a cover letter, its still better than a copied one.
  • Same goes for your resume. Take time to paint a good picture of your self without changing the the way you look or the way you are! 

Few words of advise:-
You may think you are smart by lying on your resume. Excuse me, you are not. 
You may think that no one will find out. Excuse me, the organization you are applying to or us if you are applying through us, we conduct through reference checks. We speak to your ex colleagues, we speak with your reporting bosses in your ex organizations. we speak to the people who may know you in the industry. We will find out!