Writing the perfect resume is nearly impossible, but if you spend the time and put in the effort, you can craft a great resume. The real trick is avoiding common resume mistakes that will cause someone to just dismiss you as a serious candidate. When a recruiter or hiring manager sees a resume with mistakes all over it, they will more than likely throw it away and move on to the next candidate. Simply applying for a job and sending in a resume isn’t enough to get you the job.
Even the best laid out resume with all the bells and whistles can be pushed aside if there are simple mistakes on it. Before you start sending your resume out, you should look it over and make sure you aren’t a victim of these 10 common resume mistakes:
1. Typos and Poor Grammar
One of the biggest mistakes your resume can have is typos or poor grammar. When the person reviewing a resume sees these mistakes, your resume is dismissed right away. In order to avoid these mistakes, you need to use a spellcheck tool, read, reread, and reread your resume. You also need to consider having someone review your resume for these simple mistakes that are often over looked.
2. Duties Rather Than Accomplishments
It’s easy to simply list the duties of your current job and any past jobs you’ve had. However, not only is this lazy, it doesn’t really tell a future employer anything. Instead, you need to list accomplishments, projects, and tasks that you undertook in those positions. By doing this, you show what you have done, what you are capable of, and the results of those actions.
3. Lack of Dates
You may think that dates just aren’t that important, but if someone reviewing your resume sees a lack of dates or an inaccurate account of dates, then a red flag will go off. Don’t try to hide career gaps. If there are gaps in your resume, then you need explain them in your cover letter. Remember, career gaps can be a positive thing on your resume and in your career.
4. Missing Contact Information
As you are reviewing your resume, double check your phone number, address, and email address. It might seem like a stupid mistake, but if you do happen to put in the wrong number or street name, then how is someone supposed to contact you? Be sure this information is accurate at all times.
5. Bad Formatting
You might think formatting isn’t an important part of your resume, but if you submit a resume that lacks flow in the format, then the person reading it might just end up tossing it aside. While adding boxes and using certain types of fonts can make your resume look great on screen, you need to keep in mind that you will be sending your resume in an email (more than likely) and someone will probably be printing it out. Keep it as simple as possible because in most cases, an employer just wants the information and nothing else.
In attempts to hide resume gaps and make your resume stylish, you may end up turning out a non-functional resume. Instead, you should be creating a resume that is chronological and focuses on your accomplishments rather than anything else.
7. Long Form Resumes
For some, when creating a resume, they want to cram everything they have ever done or accomplished onto the sheet. However, when your resume spreads beyond one or two pages, you lose the interest of those reading it. If you are already working with a long resume, consider trimming it down. You have limited time to get to the point, so get there early.
Your resume should tell a story, but it should tell it in short sentences, highlights, and bullet points. Paragraphs should be used on cover letters and career objectives, but your job summaries and skills sections should utilize short sentences and bullet points. By setting your resume up this way, you can get your main points across and answer initial questions. You will also have a better chance at intriguing someone and get that much anticipated call for an interview.
9. No Real Qualifications
It’s tempting to go after our dream jobs and we should always be working towards them, but you can’t apply for them unless you are ready. Your resume needs to reflect the proper qualifications when applying for a job, so make sure you have real qualifications that match the job you are applying for.
10. Unrelated Personal Information
You may want to include personal information to your resume to help someone learn more about you, but no matter how fascinating it is, unless it pertains to the job, you should leave it off. Some are tempted to include hobbies, interests, and age on their resume, but it’s just not needed and often not welcomed.
As you review your resume, make sure the information is accurate, readable, and relevant to the job to which you are applying. Avoid common resume mistakes by double and triple checking what you’ve included and having someone else review it.
What resume questions do you have? Leave your questions and suggestions in the comments section below!
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