A resume is a work of art where you aim to be as close to perfection as possible. Failure to do so may cost you the job. However, before you can even think of perfecting your resume, you should make sure to eradicate obvious resume mistakes first.
Not Tailoring Your Resume to the Specific Requirements of the Position
Many job seekers write their resume and, once they are done, send it out indiscriminately, regardless of the position they are applying to. That’s a mistake. You should always tailor your cover letter and your resume to each specific position you are applying to.
Hint: Make sure that your resume uses some of the same keywords found in the job posting.
Having a Resume That Is Unclear
There are two aspects to a clear resume: presentation and wording.
Presentation: It’s been noted that potential employers may spend ten seconds or less reviewing your resume before determining if they should discard it. You need to make sure that the information on your resume is well-organized and easy to find at a glance. If there is something you really want to call out to the hiring manager, make sure it’s in the top tier of the first page of your resume.
Wording: Avoid paragraphs or long sentences. Your sentences have to be clear. The easiest way to be clear is to be concise and direct.
Hint: A sentence should be clear upon first reading. If someone has to read the sentence a second time, it’s not clear.
Including Irrelevant Information or Too Many Details
You may think that everything on your resume is important. However, believe it or not, there are probably things you can cut out. Having irrelevant information on your resume will only detract the reader from what’s truly relevant. Why would you want to dilute your resume and reduce its impact? Irrelevant information includes details that are not important. Remember, your resume is a marketing document. It’s not a biography.
Hint: Once you’re done writing your resume, go through your resume again and ask yourself whether the information on your resume is relevant. If it’s not relevant, take it out.
Not Paying Attention to Details
It’s a competition. Losing your chance at a job interview because you did not care enough to proofread your resume or format your resume is inexcusable. If you don’t care for the job, don’t apply.
Hint: Don’t write your resume at the last minute. Once you’re done writing your resume, let it rest and read it over with a fresh set of eyes.
Classic Mistakes to Avoid
Many of the following are common sense tips. However, it’s amazing how many people keep making the same mistakes. Make sure you’re not one of them.
- Avoid using acronyms or abbreviations in your resume if they are not widely known. Instead, spell out the words.
- Do not lie. Ever.
- Do not mention that references are available upon request. That’s a given.
- Do not include an objective statement. Most professional resume writers agree that the objective statement is outdated. Replace the objective statement by a title, followed by a summary of qualifications.