It’s an unfortunate consequence of economic times – more and more people are looking for jobs. But with the many different types of resumes out there, it can be hard to make your resume stand out from the rest of the pack.
One of the most important stages in the process of finding a job is your resume. Here are 15 common mistakes to avoid in your resume writing process and how to rectify them. Keep in mind, if the writing process is giving you trouble, there are resume writing companies that you may want to consider.
1. Avoid Stating You’re Available
In the job market, you can’t get a job if you don’t have it. So when you write your resume, make sure you tell employers exactly what type of employment opportunities you are looking for. Mention particular industries and companies, such as ‘Retail Sales,’ ‘Healthcare,’ etc. Avoid saying phrases like this as it suggests that you’re looking for any positions.
2. Don’t Throw In Irrelevant Skills
Sometimes, people list any skills they have. It doesn’t matter if you’re applying for a job as a banker or a hairdresser. But whatever jobs you’ve held previously in your life, make sure your skills are relevant to the job that you’re applying for now. Focus on the most relevant experience and strengths to get the job that you deserve!
3. Don’t Skip the Cover Letter
It’s important to remember that you should always include a cover letter with your resume. This letter is your introduction to employers. You can also include a few keywords from the job description in it to clearly show employers how to contact you and why you’re interested in the job.
4. Make Sure Your Contact Info Is Complete
Include your full name, mailing address, and phone number at the top of each piece of paper you send off to prospective employers. Furthermore, make sure that it’s correct and that the telephone numbers are answered promptly and courteously. It’s an inconvenience if someone calls you, but your number doesn’t work, or you don’t answer it.
5. Check Your Spelling and Grammar
When you write your resume, double-check every word for spelling and grammar errors. Also, have someone else read it to catch any mistakes you may have overlooked.
6. Be Honest About Your Strengths and Weaknesses
When you write your resume, it’s important to avoid saying that you have no weaknesses, which may turn off employers. You don’t want to be looked down on as an inexperienced candidate. So, do your best to list all of the skills or experiences that help you excel in any job that you’re applying for.
7. Don’t Try to Sell Yourself Short
When you write your resume, don’t forget to include the state you want the position. This is important because not all CIOs are located in major cities such as New York or Los Angeles. When you’re writing your resume, be sure to show that you’re willing to relocate to wherever the job is located.
8. Avoid Slang, Acronyms, or Abbreviations
Avoid using slang on your resume and use only standard business terminology and words that employers recognize and understand. If you use slang, employers will have difficulty recognizing that you even have the right resume for the job. If you want to keep your resume looking fresh and new, stick to standard terms. Similarly, don’t use acronyms or abbreviations on your resume as these are usually capitalized (for example Microsoft Word) and may confuse prospective employers.
9. Keep Your Resume Brief, Concise, and Simple
Resumes can be short or long, depending on the type of employment that you’re applying for. If you’re writing your resume for an entry-level position, two or three pages is sufficient. But if you’re writing your resume for a senior executive position, you’ll need to write 5 or 6 pages at least.
10. Keep It Tidy!
Tidy and clean resumes are much easier to read than messy ones where the text is all over the page in various font sizes and colors. You should avoid using fancy formatting on your resume because it just makes it hard to read and follow. Employers will see your resume in PDF format, so make sure that it looks neat and professional.
11. Avoid Listing Dates
Don’t include the year your experience began or ended on your resume. For example, if you’ve worked for a company from 1997 to 2011, you don’t have to say that you started working there in 1997 and left in 2011. Just put a period after the dates, so it looks like this: 1997-2011.
12. Avoid PDF Resumes
You may be tempted to send out a PDF version of your resume, but DON’T! Employers are more likely to read and respond to a Word document. If you send a PDF resume, make sure that the prospective employer has a special program that will allow him or her to view and print it.
13. Think Twice About Your Social Media Profile Pictures!
When you write your resume, you may be tempted to include a recent picture of yourself with your family or friends. If this is the case, think twice before posting it to social media. You may want to avoid posting pictures in which you’re drinking alcoholic beverages or showing you doing anything stupid that could negatively reflect you as an applicant for a position.
14. Aim for Clarity and Conciseness
To make sure that your resume is as concise and clear as possible, use short sentences and active-voice verbs wherever possible. Employers want to read your resume and understand exactly what you did and how it showed that you’re a good fit for the job.
15. Remember, Employers, Love Education
Even if you have no formal education, employers will read your resume after seeing your high school or college grades. And if you’re a recent graduate, make sure that you highlight your work experience on your resume.
16. Keep It to One Page
A resume should never be longer than one page. It’s best to keep your resume to a single page rather than having a list of educational achievements.
The common mistake going unnoticed most of the time is to think that the cover letter is just a formality, and it does not matter how it comes out.
Rest assured, even though you may be a little bit sure of your writing capacities, you can always seek help from professional resume writers to ensure that you present yourself in the best light possible.