Before the interview comes your resume. There are lots of ways to get it right, but there are also countless mistakes you could be making in writing your resume. Read on for five common resume mistakes and how you can correct them.
1. Full of Job Descriptions – The most common mistake people make when drafting a resume is listing all activities as “job descriptions.” By putting all of your experience into job description format, you are potentially burying some very important points on your resume and in a sense hiding your best attributes from your potential employers. Try composing a list of your achievements instead. Listing the things you are capable of up front will make a big difference when it comes to whether or not you will be considered for a position.
2. Too Much Information – Stick to the basics when composing your resume: full name, e-mail address, phone number, and physical address if there is room. Information such as date of birth, nationality, or family history is unnecessary and will just take up valuable space on your resume where you could be entering your relevant work experience. Save the minor details for your job application. Your resume should be the venue to present yourself in the best possible light, so don’t overload it with unnecessary information.
3. The Generic Resume – Trying to develop a generic resume that can be used for any employer will almost guarantee your resume will be passed over and disregarded. Always go the extra mile to tailor your resume for the company to which you are applying. Get specific when providing details regarding your previous work experience, and explain how your attributes would be an asset in a precise manner. Generalized statements such as, “experience in an office setting” will be overlooked for other resumes with details like, “recruited, hired, and trained multiple employees in the Human Resources department,” for example.
4. Too Long... or Too Short – While there is no set standard for how long a resume should be, err on the side of caution when your resume starts stretching onto a third, fourth, or fifth page. Don’t be stingy with your work history details to try to maintain a resume that fits on one page, but again, make sure you stick to your strongest and most relevant work experience. Include any accomplishments that fall in line with the position’s main responsibilities, as well as with the corporate values of the company. Let your resume help you get your foot in the door. If the points on your resume require further explanation, save that for the interview.
5. Unprofessional Formatting – Setting your resume up in a proper format is vital. Your resume should be easy on the eyes and simple to navigate. Avoid using multiple different fonts, and steer clear of colored text. Clearly label the sections of your resume so that it flows from one point to the next seamlessly. Organize your work history chronologically by including dates of employment. Seek out examples of professional resumes online and try to imitate the formatting. A great first impression starts with a great resume.