Your resume is your first impression–if it’s good, you may just get that interview or follow up phone call. And if it’s bad, your resume may just end up in the trash bin. Although resumes are incredibly important to landing a job, many people don’t know the ins-and-outs of creating a truly professional and impressive resume. Many people actually make major mistakes with their resumes without even realizing it; the following are some of the most significant mistakes to avoid with your personal resume.
Using an unprofessional resume design
A resume design should be well-organized, clean, easy-to-read and above all, look professional. Yet resume design is not a skill that most people have, so it’s all too easy to make the mistake of sending in an unprofessional looking resume. Thankfully, there is an easy way to avoid this mistake: use a resume builder or resume maker. A resume builder will have templates as well as tips and guides to help you create a professional resume without all the hassle.
Including irrelevant work experience
Most people assume that all work experience is relevant–but, for example, if you are applying to a manager position at a bank, then including your work experience as an ice cream vendor at the circus is not going to impress your potential employers or matter to them at all. Keep your work experience relevant to the position or relevant to skills, networking or other factors that may in some way improve your work performance.
Listing an unprofessional contact email address
This is an all-too-common mistake. When including your email address on your resume design or sending in your resume, never use an unprofessional email–such as “Cataddict43” or “Bananaphone1111.” These types of emails are an immediate turn-off for employers; only use professional emails which use your name.
Choosing an outdated or unprofessional font
This aspect of resume template design is often overlooked, but font choices can mean the difference between a resume that looks fresh and is also easy to read, and a resume which is an eyesore. Certain outdated fonts–like Times New Roman–are now considered outdated, so try to use fonts like Ariel or other sans-serif fonts instead. Never use an unprofessional font such as a cursive or swirly font, as these are easy to read and can seem pretentious.
Not being specific enough in regards to skills and accomplishments
One mistake that most people make is not being specific enough in their skills and accomplishments; vague descriptions are unhelpful and can come across as listing duties rather than describing skills or previous accomplishments that make for an appealing job candidate.
For example, writing “Organized old patient files at clinic,” is not very informational or skills-oriented. However, writing “Revitalized outdated patient file system by reorganizing 30 years of files to make them easily accessible to staff members” is much more appealing and accomplishment-oriented. It also gives potential employers a better sense of your job skills than the first example.
Remember: resume mistakes can mean the difference between getting the job or not, so be sure to avoid these major mistakes.