When writing your résumé for an overseas position there are a couple of fatal gaffes to steer clear of, which are otherwise certain to ensure disastrous results.

One particular snafu to avoid in writing your résumé is producing a document written in simplistic first person tense that reads like a conversation going something like this:  “I started out working in a grocery store at a really young age when I’d have to stand on a wooden stool because I was too short to reach the counter to pack groceries for the customers and after that I got another job in a hardware store and then after that I decided I was gong to be a rocket scientist.”  Okay – oversimplified for illustration purposes, but you get the idea – no one wants to read someone’s life story in a résumé.  Elementary I’m sure for the vast majority of discerning readers on this site, but you may be surprised at how many résumés read like an autobiographical, not so short-story.

Another guaranteed way to bore the reader to tears, is to force them into muddling through an exhaustive, verbose stream of consciousness depicting the multitudinous thoughts and feelings passing through the writer’s mind.

For example: A sentence, be it long, medium, or short, — or even really, really short — that noticeably uses or employs significantly and excessively way, way many more words, or phrases, or clauses, and/or adjectives, etc., than are necessarily requisite to get the point of the aforementioned sentence — that is to say the crux, the focus, the meaning of the aforementioned sentence — across clearly, plainly, and/or distinctly, is a discursive, long-winded, and, dare I say, “VERBOSE SENTENCE”.  Just shoot me.

To further ensure abysmal failure in the presentation of your experience, write in third person tense as if your résumé were a review of your career written by an esteemed member of intelligentsia espousing highbrow laudatory comments fit for the annals of Who’s Who of The Illuminati. That always goes over big.  A résumé written in this style usually comes across as pretentious pomp and circumstance, the equivalency of verbal narcissism. Either that, or the person doing the writing is just plain clueless.

So, what DO you want to do when writing your résumé?  For one, use straightforward concise language stating how you meet and exceed all of the minimum and preferred requirements outlined within the job posting you are applying for.  Employ the KISS method and you can’t go wrong – which isn’t to say that emphasizing your knowledge, skills and abilities along with your significant achievements should ever go unaddressed.  Be like famed Detective Sergeant Joe Friday of Dragnet from day’s of old, presenting “Just the facts, ma’am” and curtail the lengthy discourse.

The Bottom Line –

Recruiters and hiring authorities want to know exactly WHAT you are prepared to bring to the table, and HOW you will contribute to organizational development and success of the company’s business objectives plus its ability to meet the needs of the mission.  Address these points in an appropriate manner and you are well on your way from being just another applicant among thousands in competition for the same position, to someone viewed as a viable candidate worthy of an interview.  Score.

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Bruce Diggs is a former HR staff member for KBR in Iraq and Flour in Afghanistan, with experience on the LOGCAP project in Bosnia, Kuwait, Iraq, Uzbekistan and Afghanistan. For truly viral no-spin information on the reality of working in Afghanistan, stop by his website www.LogCap4Jobs.com and be sure to checkout his world famous “Free Advice”! Bruce can also be found guest blogging for www.DangerZoneJobs.com.