Your resume serves as your first impression to potential employers. As you know, first impressions matter so don’t do anything with your resume to hurt your chances of getting a job.
Did you know that hiring managers and recruiters only spend a few seconds looking at each resume before deciding whether or not to keep reading or move on to the next one?
What does that mean to you? You must have the most important information about your qualifications for the job on the top of your resume. Not sure how to do this?
Take a look at this list of sample resumes to see the best structures and formats that you can either use as is or as a guide to create your own format.
Typos and Grammatical Errors
Glaring grammatical and typographical errors are an immediate resume killer. It will be well worth your while to take the time necessary to make sure your resume doesn’t look like you just threw it together.
Even very educated and intelligent people can make grammatical mistakes and typos. It is actually really easy to do, unfortunately.
It isn’t enough to rely solely on spell checker because it does not pick up all mistakes, especially if the mistake is an actual word spelled correctly but used in the wrong context.
Also, spell checkers might pick up mistakes that aren’t really wrong, like company names, because they are not included in the spell checker dictionary.
You can try using Grammarly, a free application that helps you eliminate grammatical errors and enhances your writing. However, even this is not enough.
Read your resume out loud to yourself. You will be surprised at how many errors you will find when you hear the content.
This is still not enough. Why? Because when we read what we have written, even out loud, we often read what we think we wrote, not what we actually wrote.
Ask a friend or family member to read your resume as a neutral second pair of eyes.
This sounds like common sense, but unfortunately, some people do embellish on their resumes. If you write a summary that says you have executive experience but your background section doesn’t include this, rest assured your resume will end up in the garbage.
In addition, if you claim to have the experience or skill set necessary for the job but you actually don’t, even if you do get an interview, this discrepancy will be apparent during the interview process and you will not get hired.
Make sure you are accurate when defining your responsibilities of past jobs, the dates of your employment, your titles for each position, and your education.
Besides the obvious fact that you just shouldn’t lie, these are easily verifiable. Inaccuracies will be brought to light, either immediately or in a short period.
Let’s say you do get past the interview and are offered a position based on what is on your resume that is not true. How long do you think it will take your manager to realize you don’t actually know what you are doing?
One Size Doesn’t Fit All
Don’t use the exact same resume for all jobs. Not all jobs are the same, and not all jobs require the same skills and experience. You might be tempted to send out all your resumes quickly to answer as many job openings as possible. In the long run, this will hurt you so don’t do it.
It is better to take the time to customize and personalize your resume for each job. Make sure your resume fits the exact specifications of each position as laid out in the job description. Take the time to get a good understanding of exactly what each potential employer is looking for.
Other Common Mistakes
- Not updating your resume
- Making your resume too long or too short
- Not visually-appealing
- Too difficult to read
Probably one of the most overlooked mistakes is not having the correct contact information on your resume. Double-check every detail of your resume, including your contact information. You don’t want to be the most qualified candidate for a job and not know about it because you can’t be reached.