The resume is the most important tool in your job-hunting arsenal. It’s what gets your foot in the door, what vouches for you when you can’t do it in person, and it’s the first impression you make on a potential employer. As such, mistakes with your resume can sink your chances before you have the opportunity to truly sell yourself. Here are five that are all too common in the job-hunting world.
A lack of research
Don’t send the same resume out to five different employers. They’re all likely to be looking for different things and have different priorities with different workplace cultures you need to fit. Researching before a job application is crucial. You can learn what they value and give the applicable parts of your resume more weight and emphasis in those bits. This helps present you as the person for the job, not just the person for any job.
A lack of detail
When you’re recounting your experiences and past positions, it’s important not to focus too much on your duties and what you did in the day-to-day of the role. Rather, you should open with a brief recap of those, but focus on accomplishments. Include what detail you can, including anything quantifiable that you have to show for yourself. It creates a concrete impression of your value as a worker, not just what role you can fill.
If you’ve never written a resume before, it’s easy to get the formatting wrong. You can lead with the information that they’re not interested in reading, miss parts that are normally considered crucial or simply structure it in a way that’s difficult to read. Using a resume builder gives you access to plenty of great pre-built formats. Being creative in your presentation isn’t as important as making sure that it’s legible and presents the most important details first.
Spelling and grammar mistakes
We all make mistakes. One typo likely won’t kill your chances, but there’s a good chance that there are more than one even after rereading and rereading again. Using grammar correcting apps on the internet can help you pick up the errors that you missed and ensure that your resume gives the most professional representation possible. After all, an impression of poor written communication isn’t as bad as an impression of unprofessionalism.
Lies, white or otherwise
Do not write anything on your resume that isn’t strictly true. If you’re worried about the fact that you don’t have work experience, use loopholes to show how else you have shown responsibility and fulfilled duties outside of work, instead. If you lie, you’re going to get asked about it, and it will eventually grow into something unmanageable that eventually reveals not just the truth, but the fact that your word can’t be fully trusted.
Don’t treat your resume lightly. Take your time with it, make sure you get it as perfect in format and content as possible. Most importantly, think about what the employer wants to read about you and write with that in mind.