“Warning: Don’t hire me!”

Is your food & beverage resume full of red flags, or does it green-light you as a candidate? If it’s the former, the New Year is a perfect time for a resume redo.

Hiring managers are carefully trained to detect warning signs in your resume you might not be aware of, even if you’re an experienced job seeker. So, if you’ve resolved to overhaul your resume in 2018, do yourself a favor – and look at it through a food & beverage recruiter’s eyes. Make sure your resume doesn’t contain any of these red flags that could be preventing you from landing food industry executive job interviews:

Resume Red Flag: Your Food & Beverage Resume Doesn’t Address the Job Requirements

A one-size-fits-all resume may be convenient for you to send out, but it does little to improve your candidacy. Before you hit “upload,” scan the job posting carefully, looking for opportunities to customize your information so that it answers that all-important question: “Why are you the best person for this position?” Here are a few tips:

  • Identify a handful of core skills in the posting that are essential to success. Highlight accomplishments on your resume that demonstrate those skills.
  • Look for keywords in the job posting that are relevant to your specialization within the food & beverage industry. Include those keywords in your resume, where appropriate.
  • Replace a generic “career objective” statement with a few bullet points that summarize why you’re the best candidate for the job.

Resume Red Flag: Inaccurate or Inconsistent Dates of Employment

Nothing screams “I’m hiding something” more than murky employment dates. Make sure yours are spot on:

  • Format your dates consistently throughout your resume. We recommend a “month/year to month/year” format.
  • Never, ever try to cover up a gap by fudging dates. Recruiters can see right through that shell game. Include an asterisk with an explanatory comment to explain a glaring gap in employment, or address it in your cover letter.

Resume Red Flag: Lack of Career Progression

Does your resume show a logical career path in which you assumed positions of increasing responsibility? (Hint: that’s what recruiters want to see!) Career stagnancy – or, worse yet, regression – can be a big cause for concern if you don’t handle it properly. So be proactive:

  • If you took a step backward to change industries or adjust your career path, make the reason why clear.
  • If job-title naming conventions (and not level of responsibility) are the issue, provide a reasonable substitute title in parentheses. One caveat: if your former boss wouldn’t use the revised title to describe your role, you shouldn’t, either.
  • If there’s another reasonable compensating factor to explain why you haven’t steadily progressed in your career (e.g., you were forced to relocate), briefly explain it in your cover letter.

Resume Red Flag: It Doesn’t Jibe with Your Online Presence

Your online presence is an extension of your resume; you should treat the information contained on your social profiles with the same care and attention as you do your resume. When you make updates to your resume, make those same changes to your LinkedIn profile, professional website/online portfolio, industry association profile(s) and any other social platforms you use. Bottom line, make sure anything a potential employer could find out about you online is accurate and improves your employment prospects.

Looking for more professional food & beverage resume advice?

Check out these earlier posts:

Writing a Killer Food & Beverage Resume

Executive Food & Beverage Resume Optimization Tips

Then, get more food & beverage résumé writing tips and other résumé critique resources in Kinsa’s Career Edge Library.

 

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