While a resume may feel like it is a thing of the past with how thorough job applications have become, most places that you apply still expect for you to present one. It is also an extremely important skill to have as your career progresses. However, it isn’t something that you’re ever taught to do. Instead, you have to figure out what to do (and not to do) on your own. Below, you can read about ten resume mistakes to avoid to make sure your resume looks great and presents you in the best possible light.
Spelling & Grammar Errors
While proofreading feels like a no-brainer, it is often treated as an afterthought. When an employer sees a mistake on your resume, it says few things about you. One is that you don’t have good attention to detail, but what’s worse is that it shows that you don’t care about the job. Giving your resume a good once over, letting a friend read over it, or running it through a proofreading app will save you from this mistake.
Your resume is designed to showcase your accomplishments, and if you are too modest when listing them, then you risk seeming unqualified for a job that you would actually be a great fit for. This isn’t an invitation to brag or exaggerate anything, but it is important that you say the things that you have done and that you effectively highlight your strengths. Share accomplishments and accolades that you have received in a matter-of-fact way.
Not Using Action Verbs
Using passive voice in your resume is bound to happen in order to make everything flow correctly, but there is one thing that you can do to make sure that it doesn’t drone on. When you are writing that you were “Responsible for handling customer complaints,” it sends a different message than “Handled customer complaints, resolved problems, ensured customer satisfaction.” You weren’t just ‘responsible for’ those things, you did them, and that sends a message to your potential employer.
Incorrect Contact Information
There are several things that could lead to you putting the wrong contact information on your resume. It could be something as simple as a typo, perhaps you recently changed your email address or phone number, or maybe it is that you have gotten into a habit of adding to your resume every time you have new information to add, but have forgotten to double check your contact information before sending it off. The bottom line is that you can’t get any calls if they can’t call you.
Faddish Fonts or Colors
For some jobs, a stylish resume is going to seal the deal for you, but in most cases, it is best to avoid using any outlandish fonts or crazy designs. The last thing that you want to do is make your resume hard to read or obnoxious to look at because that’ll get it filed straight into recycling. The same is true for using different colors on your resume. A tasteful accent color for line breaks or headers is one thing, but putting the entire body in your favorite color isn’t going to do you any favors.
Omitting Jobs That “Don’t Matter”
Taking an extra job to make money during school or on the weekends is something that almost everyone has done in their lives. Because this was just a side hustle, it is easy to see why you may feel like it is irrelevant and not worth noting on a resume but some of the skills (such as time management, work ethic, etc.) you may have gathered from these side jobs could be more important to employers than you think.
Missing Key Skills
There are keywords included in the job listing that you’re answering to that fit your skills, and that is part of why the job stood out to you in the first place. You’re doing yourself a disservice by failing to include these in your resume. If you miss these critical skills on your resume, you could get it ignored because you haven’t made yourself feel like a strong candidate to fill the position that they need.
Being Too Specific
It is essential to talk about the things that you’re good at and to include relevant accomplishments that you have made. With that said, your resume should not include any walls of text. Former job duties and things you have done should be listed in an easy-to-read bulleted format or short paragraphs. You also do not need to list everything that you have ever done. You should only include the past ten years of work history unless there are things further back that are directly relevant to the job you’re trying to get.
Being Too Vague
You do not want to leave the hiring manager confused as to what you could bring to the table in a particular company. If you are too vague about your responsibilities, then it could seem like you did less than you truly did, or do not have the proper experience for the job. Instead of saying that you “worked with children in a daycare” you should say something more specific such as ” organized daily activities for preschool-age children.”
Targeting resumes has become absolutely necessary because everyone else is already doing it. Targeting a resume means making your resume specific to the job that you’re trying to get. It allows you to use more specific words and past experience. Look at the resume you have already created and expand on things that you have already listed that relate to the specific position that you’re applying for at your desired company. Read over the required skills for the position, and be sure to emphasize those skills that you have and work in which you utilized those.