Writing a resume can be a very daunting task. There are so many different techniques and approaches that can be used that it can be hard to know which one is the most effective. Whilst there is no definitive format for a writing a good resume, there are some things that need to be avoided at all costs. It is really easy to make a few simple mistakes on your resume which can be detrimental to the job hunting process. Here are some common pitfalls that we have all made in the past when writing a resume and what to do to make sure that you avoid them.
• Bad spelling and grammatical errors. Once you have written your resume, you need to check it and re-check it over and over again. There is no excuse for sloppy grammar and spelling and it gives the impression that you just don’t care. If need-be, get someone else to check your resume for you.
• Vagueness. Your resume needs to be specific in order to read professionally so make sure you are clear about what you have done and give examples to back up your point.
• Trying to write a ‘one size fits all’ resume. Each job you apply for will require different skills so it is not plausible to create one resume and send it out to multiple employers. Instead try to tailor each resume to the job you are applying for. Clearly show how you would fit the specific role with your experience and educational history.
• Emphasize duties instead of accomplishments. Don’t just list your job duties instead describe your accomplishments.
• Waffling or not giving enough information. There aren’t actually any rules as to how long a resume must be, there is however a guideline that suggests you shouldn’t go over 2 pages. Different people’s resumes will differ in length and people have more or less to say accordingly. Even though the guidelines state sticking to a 2 page resume at most, if you don’t feel like you need 2 pages then don’t be afraid of using 1 instead. On the other hand don’t feel as though you have to cut yourself short if you exceed 1 page.
• A bad objective. The resume objective statement section is really important for most employers and will be the first thing they see when they look at your resume. Don’t be vague here; instead force yourself to be specific and choose something that focuses on your employers needs as well as your own.
• Lack of action verbs. Make yourself active by using the right adjectives; this will also force you to be more specific when describing what you have actually done.
• Leaving out important information. Don’t forget the essentials. Also don’t discount the importance of including more menial jobs as these still highlight important skills gained.
• Lack of professionalism in layout. Keep your resume tidy and professional by sticking to one plain font and font size and organize it in compact paragraphs or bullet points. You want your resume to be visually attractive and not cluttered otherwise it may put the employer off reading it.
• Incorrect contact information. Make sure you include your up to date contact information such as home address, email address and telephone number. Double-check simple things like this as they could be the difference between getting that job and not.
Avoid these common mistakes and you should produce a really great resume that will impress prospective employers.