You’ve completed the grueling process of applying for jobs and, fingers crossed, it looks like an offer is finally on the table. Congratulations! But don’t think your work is done yet — there’s still one more page to fill out: your resume.
Your resume has a lot of additional pressure because it defines how potential employers will view you if you’re called in for an interview. If it’s poorly formatted or filled with mistakes, a potential employer may not even look at it past the first line.
Of course, ultimately if you don’t feel like you can handle writing your own resume – there are professional resume writers and resume services that can help.
Here are some common resume mistakes you want to avoid:
No Work Experience Section
By adding an experience section to your resume, you get the benefit of showing off your relevant skills without tackling the legwork of explaining them in your cover letter, which is another thing you don’t have enough time for.
An employer will see that you’re not just applying for jobs based on your current title or position; instead, they can see how this position relates to other opportunities you’ve had in the past and how it might translate into future employment.
Ineffective Summary Section
Most employers spend less than 10 seconds skimming your resume, and if they don’t see a catchy summary section, they’ll move on. It’s a time-saver for both you and the employer. You can convey important highlights about your career in a concise section at the top of the page. Most commonly, the summary section will include an attention-grabbing headline, a few bullet points about your career highlights, and your contact information.
No Relevant Skills
There are probably a few skills that you feel are pertinent to this position in your job description. Judging from your resume, it seems like you’re a good fit for the job. In addition, you took the time to highlight every single skill. On paper, that’s an impressive list of talents!
So what’s the problem? What if the employer is looking for something in particular? The best way to ensure relevance is to repurpose keywords from your job description. It’s also a good practice to include skills that are often considered “soft skills,” like communication and time management.
No Contact Information
It is commonly found on resumes of job applicants who are applying through an online portal. The problem with this? If your resume makes it into human hands, you could be missing out on valuable opportunities. It doesn’t cost anything to add your name, address, phone number, and e-mail address at the bottom of your resume. The issue is all of those additional pieces of information could mean the difference between you and that dream job.
Though it may be intimidating to add your contact information, especially if you’re just starting in the workforce, remember that this is your chance to get noticed by a potential employer. Don’t leave out your contact information if you already have a job and are applying for a new position. Chances are the hiring company will want to follow up, and you’re sure not to hear back if they can’t reach you!
Reputable employers are looking for accomplishments, not just on paper. If you’re looking for an interview, make sure this section of your resume is solid. Add topics that demonstrate your ability to work within a team. If you’re trying to get hired, your resume will only be the first step. You need to show that you can do the job, and employers want to evaluate whether or not you’re a good match.
Why should employers care about accomplishments? The answer is simple: It’s often more important than education or work experience. For example, a candidate with no experience is more likely to be hired with a resume with accomplishments. In fact, experience is the most important thing on your resume when you have no education or work history.
Too Many Accomplishments
It’s an easy mistake to make when you’re trying to cover too many topics in a one-page resume. So instead of focusing on the things you did that are impressive, let the employer know why they should want to hire you by highlighting your experience with certain employers or companies.
If you’re going for a position that is a lateral move, your resume should look just fine. If you’re going to an executive position, however, it’s time to get creative. And if you have been out of the workplace for a decade or more, it might be wise to start from scratch with a new format.
Make sure your resume is error-free and bold. Also, make sure that your headings and bullet points are easy to read. If your resume is filled with text that’s too minuscule, employers will skim over them. So instead, your resume’s content should be easy to read and concise.
As to the formatting of the resume itself, you’ll want to avoid any inconsistencies. The exact format shouldn’t apply to every page, and this can confuse employers. Instead, use a simple resume font that is easy to read across the table or a single color throughout. When it comes time for a face-to-face interview, be sure to have a printed version ready so you can double-check especially small text.
Always have a second set of eyes review your résumé before you send it off to be reviewed. Hiring managers are likely to pass over applicants who can’t be bothered to put in the extra effort, so make sure it’s error-free before sending it on its way. By taking the time to go through your résumé, others will be able to spot errors that might otherwise get overlooked quickly.
Grammars and spelling errors in a résumé can be utterly unforgivable. Moreover, it shows that you didn’t take the time to proofread, which suggests that you also don’t care enough about your application to do your best.
In addition, your communication ability will be affected if you have a terrible habit of misspelling words or misusing grammatical structures. As a result, it’s essential to take the time to edit any written communication for errors before sending it on.
If you’re applying for a job in the customer service field, you probably want to pay more attention to your grammar and spelling. A little mishandled punctuation can make or break that interview. But, even by following all the rules with your resume, you can make mistakes that will make recruiters turn away with a hasty “No thanks.”
A short objective statement can help employers understand what you’re looking for in a career path. If your objective is the same as the position you’re applying for, however, it’s best to avoid this section or revise your goal so it’s relevant to the job at hand. Don’t worry, though. You don’t need to include any keywords or buzzwords in your objective statement. It’s best to read your resume out loud and see if you’re communicating what it is you’re seeking in a job. That said, if an objective seems too general and not worth reading, then you can always add in some more detail after the current employer has called for job interviews with all candidates.
Objectives that Don’t Fit Your Career
One of the biggest resume mistakes is having an objective that doesn’t fit your actual career goals. A general example might be something like, “I am seeking a long-term career in sales. I am eager to learn and work hard to gain valuable career experience.” While this statement is true, it doesn’t necessarily help you get the job. A better objective might be, “I am seeking a career in sales management. My goal is to use my experience and training to develop the next generation of sales representatives at XYZ Corp.” This statement helps the employer get a better idea of what it is you’re looking for and tells them that you’re looking for a long-term opportunity.
No Work Experience Section
Whether you’re changing careers or changing industries, employers will still look at your employment history — and if there’s no work experience section on your resume, they may overlook your skills and qualifications.
A work experience section is a great way to demonstrate that you’ve been stable in your career, and it’s also an excellent opportunity to highlight skills that have been developed while working in a previous position.
Avoid these mistakes at all costs. It’s important to understand that your resume is the first impression you will give to a potential employer. Naturally, you want it to be perfect, so take time to craft these documents. Think of them as an introduction to who you are, what skills you possess, and why they hire you.
If you have any questions about your resume or are looking for help crafting it, a resume writing service can help make your resume stand out and impress potential employers. You will save countless hours and effort and will most likely get the perfect overview you’ve always wanted.