Building a strong resume is the most important step in the job-hunting and career-building process. An impressive resume can open doors to endless career possibilities and jumpstart your climb up the corporate ladder, while a lackluster resume can single-handedly bar you from even landing an interview. Here are five common, easily fixable resume mistakes that you might not even know you’re making.
Lists of Duties
When writing about your past jobs or volunteering experiences on your resume, you might be tempted to include bullet points that describe the duties you had to perform while on the job. Although this might seem like a good way to let potential employers know what skills you’re capable of, in reality it comes off as dry, dull, and unmemorable. Instead, rephrase those duties as accomplishments or lessons you’ve learned. Don’t be afraid to brag!
Too Few Action Verbs
You want to show potential employers that you’d be an enthusiastic, dynamic addition to their team. When describing things, you’ve done in your resume, try to steer clear of bland, generic verbs like “talked,” “organized,” and “handled.” Instead, use stronger, more specific verbs that highlight exactly what you’ve done in a more interesting light, such as “executed,” “persuaded,” and “delegated.” These kinds of action verbs will stand out in your resume instead of fading into the background.
Grammatically Incorrect or Full of Typos
Any grammar or spelling error, no matter how small, is an instant turn-off to any potential employer. These types of technical errors make you seem lazy, unintelligent, and apathetic, even if the actual content of your resume is impressive. Make good use of your spellcheck function and have your friends or family members read through your resume a couple of times to catch any spelling or grammar errors before you start applying for jobs.
Overly Generic or Irrelevant
Even if you’re applying to dozens of jobs, your resume needs to feel relevant and specific to each position you’re applying to. A one-size-fits-all style of resume might feel like less work for you, but the blandness and lack of specificity is a turnoff to job recruiters. Additionally, you don’t want to waste precious resume space on previous work experiences that have nothing to do with the job you’re applying for. If you’re trying to work at a corporate law firm, there’s no need to include your high school job waiting tables on your resume.
When it comes to job hunting, appearances do matter. If the overall appearance of your resume seems cluttered or overcrowded, or if the font you picked looks boring or unprofessional, it can significantly lower your chances of landing an interview, even if your accomplishments themselves are promising. If you’re having trouble formatting your resume, click through the resume templates from LiveCareer.
Job hunting can be an absolutely cutthroat process. Don’t let a simple resume error hold you back from landing your dream job. Before you submit your resume to a potential employer, be sure to check for those five common errors so you can make the best possible first impression!