Lisa (Dean) Mamula

Resume Misfires: Avoid These Misfires Sure to Sabotage You

badAre you having trouble landing interviews for the HR or payroll jobs you are applying for? Well, you could blame luck, the economy, the president…the potential president, or even the font on your resume. But have you thought about what may really be hurting your chances at landing an interview?

Your HR/payroll resume.

As we work with HR and payroll professionals every day, we see some common resume mistakes that definitely stand in the way of interviews.

No Focus
Have you ever said to yourself… “I’ll take anything, I just need to get out of here.”

When you have that mindset, your HR/payroll resume may stink of that desperation.  Not literally of course, but it may be the resume of a generalist who is hedging bets and literally positioning themself for anything that opens up in the HR or payroll space. Take a hard look at your HR/payroll resume and see if you can ascertain who you are… the position you are best fit for. You may think HR is HR or payroll is payroll, but employers tend to be looking for cultural fit, the right experience level, the right skills for the level, etc. Figure out your HR/payroll niche – and have your resume target that.

Most resumes avoid the simple question an HR/payroll resume should address – why do I, the employer care? WIIFM (what’s in it for me)? No one hires without a challenge or a problem. The HR/payroll job opening is a result of that problem.  So how are you going to help? Often the employer’s problem revolves around money. Wait, you are in HR or payroll, not sales, so how could this be? Money can be saved with a lot of what you do. And have done. Talk about it. Don’t be shy to attempt to quantify revolves around money in some way. Most resumes get only 10-20 seconds of perusal, so make sure the HR/payroll ROI is front and center.

How do you do this? You HR/payroll strengths should be front-and-center with measurable benefits.

Not Breaking Rules
One of the first blogs we ever wrote on this site was about the HR book I am sure (hopeful) that as an HR professional you have read, First Break All the Rules. It’s a book by Gallop about the truly standout, extraordinary employees. These are individuals hired based off their strengths and talents versus their experience/obtained skills. If there is one profession that has read this book, it is HR.

Skills are a commodity – what makes you a special HR or payroll professional? What are your strengths and talents? Instead of a laundry list of skills, define the many ways your past and present job performances are assets to your next employer in your next HR/payroll role.

Spray and Pray
Remember when those travel sites had a popup on every website?  Some studies actually showed that after a while, the relentless presence of these ads considerably eroded brand strength. It is the same with your resume. Constantly blasting your resume to job boards and multiple openings at one company can make you look, well, unfocused and desperate. As an HR/payroll job seeker, you need to both do a better job at selecting the jobs you truly should be interviewing for (and doing a better job with your app and pursuit) as well as network and look beyond job postings and position yourself to the managers of the companies and organizations you want to work for.

At the end of the day, Willory can help you develop and polish an awesome HR or payroll resume that get you noticed and gets you your next, best opportunity.


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