I love interviewing people. It takes people watching to an entirely different level. You get to ask nosey questions, find out juicy gossip about their past employers (or your competitors), hear inappropriate jokes, hear sob stories (or truly hilarious ones), and really get to know a new person.

But, aside from the fun part of interviewing possible candidates it can also be very eye-opening.  You see, I've interviewed over 3,000 candidates (maybe more) for various positions and I'm always surprised at the avoidable mistakes people make. This week I'll be showcasing one tip per day. 

Besides being the boss/manager in many situations, I've also helped over 200+ women gain employment through my coaching and mentoring. I evaluate their situation and we create a to-do list that enables them to become a top candidate. My success rate has been 100%, so I stand by my 5 Hot Tips. 

HOT TIP #1 Resume Problems

Grammar

Come on. Seriously. I just opened a resume with more typo's than a Nigerian email scam. I immediately deleted the resume from my in-box; check for grammatical errors. Have friends and family double check your resume for easily overlooked errors. Make sure you use spell-check

Job Hopping

Nothing sends a resume to my trash pile faster than job hopping. Here is a great tip: if you've worked at the job less than six months, don't put it on the resume. A great way to make your resume look more streamlined is to present your employment time in years (ex. 2012-1014 vs. June 2012 to January 2014). It's easier on the eyes and makes you look more stable. 

Picture

I know your best friend told you your head shot was beautiful and your husband swears you've never looked more gorgeous than the Christmas family photo, but, do not add a photograph to your resume. So that I'm completely transparent, I have hired people who have put their photos on their resume, but statistically, those are few and far in between. Just don't do it. Let your resume and your interview do the talking for you. 

Updated Info

I can't tell you how many times I've emailed or called a stellar candidate to get a wrong phone number or no response, later to find out the information on their resume was old. Take the two minutes out of your day to update your phone number, email address, and any additional information. 

Cover Letter

If they request a cover letter, make sure you keep the letter brief, organized, and catered to the exact job you are applying for. I just opened a cover letter today for a position in a law firm, but I'm hiring for an administrative position in a health office. It's off-putting. And, of course, check your grammar. 

Graduation Dates

Leave them out. Don't give a possible employer any reason to throw your resume to the side. Using specific dates gives them a clue to your age, and as wrong as that is, it can be a deciding factor. Simply use the term, Graduated. 

Formatting

There are numerous online guides on how to format your resume. Google it...it's endless. So, I will only add my two cents. Make sure the layout is simple, easy-to-read, and doesn't distract the reader. Some resumes come across my desk and they are too busy and too long. Unless you're a doctor, you shouldn't have a two page resume. Keep it simple and short.

Don't lie

No, really, don't lie. I've seen it way too many times. The funniest one I received was just this morning. A candidate is applying for an opening at my company but she is using false employment history because I know the company she is  using as her "past" employer. Ugh...

PDF

Send the resume as a PDF. It helps to keep your formatting and eliminates any automatic grammar underlined words in Word. But, make sure you keep the original Word Document just in case you need to change something.