Your Resume is an important part of your armory when looking for a job.Avoid these 15 Resume Writing Mistakes to ensure you snare you next position.
Your Resume has to look good and be as close as possible to the job description to get you through to the next stage. As one of the first documents that someone will ask for to represent your capabilities, your Resume should be completed with focus, time and care. Resume Writing can often be the difference between securing an interview for your jobs applied, and not making the initial cut.
If you’re guilty of any of the Resume Writing mistakes below, you’re probably costing yourself some great interviews:
1. Bad formatting
Your Resume should be formatted perfectly. It should be consistent throughout in terms of bullets, text and margins. Your Resume should be readable on a mobile device as well as on a computer screen; so ensure it displays perfectly for both. Saving it as a PDF is a great way to ensure it is easy to read on tablets and phones. There is no excuse for untidy, inconsistent formatting. Check once, and then double-check this!
2. No contact details
These should be clear, correct and visible. Perhaps they could be in a header to ensure they are easy to find if the pages are not kept together.
3. Too many pages
The ideal length of a Resume is two pages.
4. Jam-packed paragraphs
Your Resume should be split up clearly with bullet points. HR professionals and recruiters want to read the relevant information quickly and easily, and will not wasteÂ hours reading through long scripts.
5. Hidden information
Your Resume needs to match as closely as possible to the job description or job requirements. Often Resume’s are selected via key words so the words that appear on your ideal job description should also (if you have the experience) appear on your Resume.
6. A rush-job
Rushing to produce a Resume without really thinking through and analyzing what it is that you want to do next. Take your time to analyse yourself; self-awareness and knowing what you want and are suited to should be your first step before producing your Resume.
Real freedom to choose and some control over what you now want must involve some self-awareness work first. My book What to do next? is a practical exercise book which can help you with this (available on Amazon).
7. Wordy profile statement
Your profile statement needs to be short, strong, snappy and not generic. They need to be objective. In one or two sentences summarise and emphasise your key attributes, experience and your intended future career path.
8. No summary of skills
These should be clearly visible, don’t hide them. Some people like the top part of their Resume to look like a snap shot of your experience. Your skills should be bulleted and separated and can appear under your profile statement so the reader can quickly see them.
9. Inconsistent, incorrect tenses
I often see Resumes where the starting word is in the wrong tense. If you are currently working there, it should read, for example: Reviewing, Liaising etc. If, however, it is a previous role, it should read: Reviewed, Liaised. It’s an obvious one, but I see it on almost every Resume that crosses my desk.
Perhaps this is because people update their CV as they go, and don’t necessarily go back to change old roles.
10. Overuse of one particular word
Again a regular mistake that I see. People often have one word that they repeat over and over again watch out for this, it is often the first word of your responsibility bullet points. Ask a couple of people to read through and check your Resume for you.
11. Omitting relevant qualifications/training/courses
Often people miss internal training or courses that they have done in the past. List all of them.
12. Failure to quantify things
A great way to add strength to your bullet points is to add numbers and percentages. What did you do, what was the outcome, can you quantify it?
13. Unorganised bullet points
I prefer Resume’s that have clear bullet points for each position. They can be easily read and are clear. Even within those bullet points think about which ones are at the top. The first two bullet points position you. Think about which are most impressive or most relevant to the job you are applying to and put them first.
14. Lack of tailoring
For those good important jobs that you really want make sure you tweak your Resume and pull out the most relevant experience and information that you can. Change the order of bullets, add figures. Go through the job specification and match your CV as closely as you can to it. Take time over this.
15. No references
Have them. Either references on request or list the names of two individuals you have asked at the bottom of your Resume.
Fixing these problems in your Resume will help a great deal with your job search, however, you should also make sure your social media profiles match the calibre of your Resume. Make sure your Linked In profile gets just as much attention.
The two will work together and these days both need to be strong. Also, be careful not to use too much jargon and simplify your language where possible. Some industry jargon is necessary for keyword searches, but try to stay away from inter-company jargon all over your Resume it will only alienate the reader.
Finally, don’t forget to do your research. Find out as much as you can about the company you’re applying for; the culture, job description, their social media presence. Try to gain a true understanding of what they are looking for before you apply.
Decide then if that is what you want and if the answer is yes, tailor your Resume with your relevant experience and attributes to match that. Avoiding these Resume Writing Mistakes will no doubt increase your success in securing an interview for more of the jobs you want.
Want some advice? Click to obtain a free Resume Review from one of our Recruitment Advisors and see how your Resume stacks up to our 15 Resume Writing Mistakes.