There are countless opinions on the “best” way to write an executive food & beverage résumé – from the best format to choose to the best “power” words to include.

No matter how you design or word your résumé, however, it must accurately outline your capabilities and raise interest in you as a candidate.  Over the past several months, we’ve written two posts with tips to help your résumé accomplish these goals.  In case you missed them, here are links to these posts:

As our third and final installment on the topic of résumé preparation, here are five critical mistakes you should guard against when creating your power résumé:

Listing personal or irrelevant information.  Many people include their interests, such as sports or other hobbies, on their résumés, perhaps because they believe it makes them appear to be well rounded.  In reality, however, you should only include this type of information if it directly relates to your career objective.  Personal information, such as date of birth, marital status, height and weight, should normally not be included on your résumé, either.

Using a functional résumé format when you have a good career history.  Unless you have a résumé “emergency” situation, such as virtually no work history or excessive job-hopping, avoid the functional résumé format. Why?  It is irksome for a hiring manager to review a résumé in which a candidate describes his skills and achievements without connecting them to a particular job.

To avoid this problem, use a modified chronological format.  Here is the basic layout:

  • Header (name, address, email address, phone number)
  • Lead with a strong profile section (detailing the scope of your experience and areas of proficiency)
  • Reverse chronological employment history (emphasizing achievements in the past 10-15 years)
  • Education (this might be moved to the top for recent graduates)
  • Other related topics, including professional affiliations, community activities, technical expertise, publications/patents and languages spoken.

Not including a summary or profile section that makes an initial hard sell.  Your résumé is first and foremost a marketing device – so use your summary section as the sales tool it’s intended to be!  This section should clearly outline your skills, experience and education as they relate to the position you are seeking.

Need help creating a high impact summary statement?  Peruse job openings on Monster.com to determine what features are most important to employers.  Next, write a list of your matching skills, experience and education.  Finally, incorporate these “selling points” directly into your summary statement.

Failing to incorporate keywords.  With the majority of large- and medium-size companies using technology to store and retrieve résumés, your best hope of being found in an applicant search starts with including relevant keywords.  Rather than stuffing keywords into a separate section, however, you need to sprinkle them where they make sense throughout your résumé.

Start by carefully examining the jobs for which you want to apply.  Make a short list of the keywords (including technical skills, industry buzzwords, required experience, etc.) that you think a recruiter might use to search for qualified candidates.  Go back through your résumé and incorporate those keywords where they fit best.

Including a references statement.  Today’s employers assume that, if you are searching for a professional position, you will have a carefully prepared list of references.  As such, including a “references available upon request” statement does little more than waste valuable space on your résumé.  Use it only as a graphical element – to signal the end of a long résumé or to round out the page design.

Need more help with your food & beverage résumé?  Get great food & beverage résumé writing tips and other résumé critique resources in Kinsa’s CareerEdge Library.

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