Your Resume is an Essential Marketing Tool – Recruitment Extra

Many experienced Australian company executives commit basic blunders when submitting their resumes for a job application, according to John Mills, Director of Executive Search and Selection at Vincents Chartered Accountants. Mills said applicants for executive positions were often guilty of providing inadequate details in their resumes and making simple grammatical mistakes and spelling errors.

“Many executives who have worked at a level such as a chief executive officer, chief financial officer or chief operating officer are guilty of committing some of the most basic errors when submitting a resume”, Mills said.

“They should realise that you can sometimes tell a book by its cover and the quality of the resume is a useful indicator of the credentials of the candidate”.

“If the standard of correspondence we see in some resumes and covering letters is any indication, the management reports prepared by some of these candidates must fall well short of the mark”.

Mills said candidates from the public service who are accustomed to addressing specific selection criteria for jobs usually have a much better prepared resume and covering letter.

“These people seem to take the process more seriously and can be a lot more successful when seeking executive positions. But many applicants from the private sector submit resumes with grammatical and typographical errors or incorrectly addressed covering letters – if you are given a name to address a letter to, by all means use it.

“Other mistakes made include failure to address selection criteria in their covering letters, not explaining gaps in their resumes or omitting details about the work they have performed for their previous companies”.

Mills also said there was a misconception that resumes only needed to be two pages long.

“Some resumes are far too short and provide an incomplete picture with vital information missing including details on the companies they worked for, the roles the candidate performed and their achievements in those roles. Managers often do not give any indication of the reporting structure below them or who they reported to in their roles.”

“The ideal resume length is one page for the current role and decreasing in length as you go back into previous positions. Time wise resumes should go back to when the candidate left school.”

Mills said a properly constructed and accurate resume was essential for all positions, whether they be a junior office receptionist or a chief executive officer, “Your resume is an essential marketing tool and one with errors and omissions won’t get you past first base”, he added.

Thanks to Recruitment Extra magazine by Thomson Reuters, published May 2011.

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