The #1 Resume Mistake Job Seekers Make, And How You Can Avoid It!

The #1 Resume Mistake Job Seekers Make, And How You Can Avoid It!

You see a job posting that you know you would be perfect for. You pull up your resume and carefully fit the last 12 years of employment history onto one page. The margins are almost non-existent and it’s in size 8 font - but you managed to squeeze it all in. Stop! Unless you have less than 4 years of experience, your resume probably requires more than 1 page, and here are the top 6 reasons why:  

1. Employers care about content:  Hiring managers don’t care if your resume is 1 page, or exceeds 2 pages. Instead, they care more about determining whether you’re qualified for the job. For many jobs, the resume has taken the place of the first interview. This is your moment to show your skills, even if that means extending your resume to two pages, or longer.  Don’t sell yourself short! Take the opportunity to let them see what you’ve accomplished in your eDiscovery career. It is virtually impossible to sum up 12 years of industry experience in a single page. So don’t concern yourself with the length; focus more on quality and relevant content.  

2. Employers cannot read your resume: Employers would rather read a resume with a clean, simple layout on 2 pages than a cramped 1 page resume. Take advantage of a second page and organize your resume. Use bullet points, break down your education and employment history, and make it easy for an employer to see how qualified you are. Remember to think of this as your first interview and make sure they can clearly see all of your qualifications.

3. Employers want to know how you fit:  If your resume extends to two or three pages, make sure your experience applies to the specific position. Just because the one page rule can be broken, doesn’t mean you need to spell out every task you had as a Paralegal dating back to 1985. For example, if you’re applying for an E-Discovery Processing Engineer position, focus on your metadata extraction, ESI ingestion, culling and de-duping/near-duping skills instead. Hiring managers are receiving 100’s of resumes in today’s job market. Keeping your resume relevant to the job will save them time and push you to the top on the heap.

4. Use visual hierarchy to capture their attention: Visual hierarchy is used to “guide” the reader from the most relevant information to the least relevant. The average hiring manager will spend between 15 to 20 seconds looking at your resume. Think about focusing the reader’s attention on your strongest points first. Capture their attention by leading your resume with a summary of your employment history and skills in a few bullet points. Certifications such as an RCA (Relativity Certified Administrator), CCSA (Concordance Certified Software Administrator), ENCE (EnCase Certified Examiner Certification), or other industry-related certifications carry considerable weight and should be highlighted, perhaps in a designated category on your resume. Once you capture the reader’s attention, you can elaborate on your use and specific application of the tool in more detail.

5. Show off your other skills: Chances are, if you are applying for a Litigation Support Specialist position, you may have worked with multiple E-Discovery databases and/or processing tools. It is more important to list your technical expertise in a separate heading, and explain the capacity in which you used the tool under that specific job. Highlighting the specific technology tools may give you the advantage over the next person in line – especially if the company or firm you are applying to is using or implementing those same tools.

6. Always ask for advice: Before you send it out, ask a friend or peer that you trust to review your resume. Remember to keep an open mind when it comes to critique and advice. After all, a second pair of eyes never hurts when it comes to catching simple errors or offering a helpful suggestion.

For more tips on enhancing your resume, check out our Resume Tips Blog.

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