Want to make a good impression when job hunting? First, have a quick look at your current resume. Or, if you have never written a resume before, read on before you get started.
For novice job hunters, it can be very complicated to write an excellent resume without coming off as too vague or inexperienced. As for the long-time folk in the job market, they might make a few mistakes here and there, despite their experience.
Whatever the case may be, people make mistakes, and resumes are no exception. While it’s important to showcase your skills and achievements on your resume, it’s never a good idea to cram every single detail about you on paper.
With that in mind, here are 10 mistakes to avoid when constructing your resume:
“Although mistakes can happen when writing your resume,” says Zane Ngabidj, a career expert at Essayroo and OXEssays, “it’s still easy to miss a few errors when double-checking your work. It takes consistency to make a professional resume. That means rechecking dates, job titles, and duties.”
2. Errors In Spelling And Grammar
Obviously, spelling and grammar are important in a resume. Like typos, employers tend to look down at poor spelling and grammar, and might not take you seriously.
Here are two ways to check for spelling and grammar:
- Comb through your resume to spot errors, OR
- Have someone else read over the resume to check for errors.
(Or, you can do both, just to be on the safe side.)
3. Unprofessional Email
A professional resume needs a professional email to go with it. So, instead of an informal and or provocative email like “hipster.hottie” – no alter egos – have a legitimate email that employers can contact you at when needed. Set yourself up for success by following these email address best practices and avoiding these mistakes.
4. Outdated And Irrelevant Info
Outdated information – a short-term job from 10 years ago, 20 years ago, etc. – isn’t necessary in your resume, and neither is irrelevant information like age, extracurricular activities outside of school, hobbies, marital status, etc. Remember that unless that information is relevant to the job that you’re applying for, then leave it off the resume.
5. Making Fraudulent Claims
Nothing is worse than telling lies. So, when you lie on a resume, employers will immediately background check and call references only to prove you wrong. If you lie, then employers will see you as a liar and not to be trusted.
Therefore, back up your claims with evidence.
6. Too Much Fluff In Job Descriptions
Although employers want to be impressed, they’ll know when someone is trying too hard. Large doses of fancy terminology and amplified descriptions can be a turn-off for employers. Try to be authentic, while using the right terminology to better explain things on your resume.
7. Including The “Obvious” Skills
Obvious skills – Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint – are no longer “desired” skills. These days, employers want people with working knowledge of the Office suite.
Instead, demonstrate desired skills – e.g., SQL, Google Analytics, Salesforce, Adobe Creative Suite, etc., so that you stand out from other applicants.
8. Not Explaining Career Changes
If you happen to change careers during your time in the job market, let employers know about it on your resume. Not explaining career changes will have you come off as someone looking for a job with no goals and no ambition.
9. Weak Verb Usage
Try to avoid vague wordage. When working with verbs, focus on getting right into your work history – taking employers on a journey through the perspective of an active, inspired and engaged professional in the workforce.
10. Not Enough White Space
“Most people might think that cramming their resumes with a lot of information and achievements will make them desirable in the job market,” says Rachel Porter, a journalist at Paper Fellows and State Of Writing. “However, that’s usually never the case. A crowded resume makes it overwhelming for the reader – the HR manager – to read. Hiring managers will only skim through a resume for a few seconds.”
In short, make your resume more inviting and readable, which means more white space on the document.
Remember: everyone makes mistakes, even on a resume. But the good news is, there’s always room for improvement. As you learn from these 10 mistakes, your resume will look more professional, and you’ll soon catch the eye of employers.