There is no such thing as a perfect resume. However, there are some things that are commonly accepted as mistakes. If you are trying to put together a resume for job applications, avoid these common mistakes that can cost you the position.
Position Descriptions That Don’t Show What You Accomplished
Try not to only list duties and responsibilities for your previous jobs. Instead, focus on specifics. Quantify your achievements as much as possible, or give short examples. Use a lot of active verbs and be specific about your skill sets. Demonstrate to your potential employer the value you have brought to previous roles and what you have learned from them.
Once you have finished writing your resume, you need to proofread it. Read it again. And again. And again. Make sure there are no spelling, grammar or punctuation mistakes at all. If you send out a resume riddled with mistakes, or even if it just has one, this will make it appear as though you are not as detail-oriented as you are trying to claim you are.
Including An Objective Statement
Objective statements are horribly outdated. If you want to include a headline on your resume, opt for a career summary statement instead. The difference lies in the fact that an objective statement focuses on what you want out of your career, when companies want to know how you will benefit them. A career summary statement should summarize your resume by briefly stating who you are professionally. Make sure the statement is relevant to the job you are applying for.
Not Using Keywords From The Job Posting
With job openings getting massive amounts of applications, companies have had to turn to applicant tracking systems to sort through them all. These systems search resumes for key words and phrases. This is why it is important that your resume includes key words and phrases from the best place to discern them – the job ad itself. Make a list of words from the job ad that appear relevant and then be sure to use them in your resume.
Lying is one of the worst things you can do on a resume. If you are found out, it can result in you being dismissed from the candidate pool, or worse, fired after you have landed the job. Do not stretch employment dates either. If you do this, it will very likely be uncovered when the hiring manager contacts your previous employer. Then you will be removed from the running for the new position.
Making It Too Short Or Too Long
This is tricky because there isn’t really any set length your resume should be. For example, there is no reason to restrict yourself to a single page if you really need two pages to report relevant past employment history. On the other hand, you don’t want to go onto a second page if you are including unnecessary information.
Adding Too Much Personal Information
Hobbies can add depth and personality to your resume. However, they should be included sparingly and only if they are relevant to the position you are applying for. A hobby or two should only be talked about under a skills or other experience section.
Gaps on a resume simply do not look good. If you were unemployed for a time, try to fill those gaps with things like volunteer work, schooling, freelance work or anything else that aided your development during that time. You can also use a different format, such as a functional format as opposed to a chronological one.
Do not try silly gimmicks to get your resume to stand out. Examples include printing your resume on bright colored paper, using weird fonts and spraying it with perfume. Doing any of these things will turn off employers and get your resume tossed in the trash can.
Not Customizing The Resume For Different Positions
You shouldn’t take a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to your resume. You should customize your resume for every position you apply for. This includes keywords, as mentioned above. You should also consider making changes such as including different information, ordering information differently on the document and removing information.