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Most Common Resume Mistakes

by admin on June 11, 2014

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Resume writing is one of the most powerful tools to help you land a job. It is by far an art and requires the writer to use his or her innovative ideas, effective language, and design abilities while crafting a resume. Since it holds a crucial part in a person’s job search, your resume must, by all means, stand out among hundreds of other resumes. It is one of your greatest chances to be called for an interview and you simply cannot make mistakes. Some of the most common errors that you should avoid are as follows:
1. Using a template design: First impressions are lasting impressions and hence your resume just must grab the immediate attention of the reader. Although it is not ethically wrong, using commonly used templates instantly tells the reader that the applicant lacks imagination and that he or she is not unique. You must understand that your resume is a reflection of who you are and using a template completely destroys this aspect. It should be uniquely designed to highlight your unique qualifications and selling points to set you apart from other candidates, and it should by all means reflect the real ‘you’ factor.

2. Including an objective statement: While making their resumes most people overlook an important aspect of their job search – what do they have that could contribute value to the organization in question. It is natural that everybody ultimately works for the benefit that they receive from an organization, but it is disastrous to state what you want and your expectations in an ‘objective’ section. This section clearly tells the reader that you are self-centered and the company’s goals are secondary to you. Instead of this, it is recommended that you include a profile section which is employer-centered, and is indicative of what you have to offer rather than what you want from them.

3. Resume lacks focus: A sharp focus is tremendously important factor in crafting an effective resume. Your resume lacks focus, and it loses its chance of being given a second look. A powerful ‘Summary of Qualifications’ or a ‘Profile’ at the top of the resume draws the reader in and showcases your best selling points, catches the prospective employer’s attention, and immediately demonstrates your value as a candidate.

4. Resume is not bulleted: High density, paragraph-like resumes often reduces readability and inspires employers to discard them at the slightest opportunity. Valued responsibilities, accomplishments, significant contributions made by you, often remain unnoticed due to the poor effort put into showcasing them. One of the best methods you could employ is to bullet points consistently throughout the resume. Bullets help to split information and make it extremely reader-friendly.

5. Spelling and Grammar: You simply cannot afford to make grammatical mistakes and typos. They are disastrous and should at all costs be avoided. If you think that resumes are not scrutinized to that extent, then you are wrong. Such mistakes are spotted almost immediately and are indicative of a lack of thoroughness. This alone could cost you your job.

6. Length: Resumes have a very short life span and if they don’t get the attention of the reader instantly, they will never get it. Long-winded resumes and those with too much information do not really catch the eye and gives an impression of a diluted focus. Always think in terms of relevance and impact and comfortably exclude all matter which does not promote your qualifications in relation to your career goals, or support your personal brand and value proposition. Hence, it becomes extremely important to retain only relevant information in a summarized, concise, and easy-to-read manner.

7. Passive words and the absence of keywords:Power packed and impactful resumes are usually those which contain job-specific key words and active verbs. This is an extremely important factor that cannot be ignored. A wonderfully designed resume with a lot to credentials will eventually mean nothing if you do not use powerful language.

8.Format: Having the right format for your resume is more difficult than it sounds. Not only does it have to be of the correct length but should also have the right balance, look good, as well as read easily. The difficulty lies in the fact that if your resume doesn’t look the part, it might never be read. Employers are busy people so, even if the content of the resume is excellent, but doesn’t have a professional look, it could go straight into the trash can.

a. Font is too small: Make sure that your document is legible. A font size is 11 or 12 is recommended.
b.Repetitive words: Do not use the same word repeatedly. Use a variety of action verbs to prove your transferable and diverse skills.
c. Leaving out dates: Leaving out dates might seem like you are trying to hide certain information – make sure to include it.
d. Inconsistent layout: Present your resume in a consistent layout such as an even amount of space between each heading and consistent verbiage.
e. Including personal information: Personal information like age and gender should not be included on your resume.
f. Use of abbreviations or contractions: Your resume is a formal document, so be sure to omit abbreviations or contractions in your words or sentences.
g. References are listed directly on your resume: You should not include references in the resume. Make a list of them on a separate sheet of paper to carry to the interview and present it as and when requested.

People make mistakes while writing a resume. However, these can be identified and rectified with a little guidance. The biggest mistake you could possibly make is to send off your resume to employers before it has been checked. Make good use of your time and efforts, rectify your errors and make sure you don’t miss out on the job of your dreams.

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