Why trying to write the perfect résumé could sabotage your job search

Computer workFrancisco Osorio/FlickrIf you’re ready for a new job, don’t set unrealistically high expectations for your résumé or cover letter.

A fresh start for 2016 may include a new job — or a new career — and now is the perfect time to start the search.

According to Vicki Salemi, a career expert for Monster Worldwide, January 6 has been the busiest day for job searching on
Monster.com for the past two years.

She says the beginning of the year is an ideal time to kick off a job search because people tend to be more motivated and clear on what they want to accomplish for the year.

However, if you suffer from what Salemi calls “perfectionist syndrome,” you’re probably not one of the many people applying for jobs today … or tomorrow … or next week. And you’ll probably continue missing out on great opportunities.

She says when these people see a job posting that piques their interest, they tend to wait until their résumé is completely flawless before sending it off. And by then, it’s probably too late.

“While you’re stressing over every detail on your application, other candidates may have already started to interview and get job offers,” she explains. “If you’re waiting for the moment when it feels like 110%, then you’re going to miss out.”

She says some of these people
never feel like their résumé or cover letter is good enough to send out — and this can completely sabotage their search.

As a former recruiter, Salemi says she is not advocating turning in a sloppy or “just OK” résumé, but says if it’s well-organised, free of grammatical errors, and clearly highlights your relevant skills and experiences, it’s probably ready to be submitted. And when you see a posting go up, you should always apply as quickly as possible.

“Good, great, and excellent résumés all go in the same pile — the greenlight pile,” she says, while bad ones go in the “no” pile. “H
iring managers are far more likely to notice résumés with glaring errors than those that are perfect,” she adds. So as long as it’s clean, nicely formatted, and well-organised, it may be good enough.

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